US to Continue Supporting Religious Minorities in Iraq, Kurdistan

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BASNEWS-ERBIL – The US has reiterated its coordination with all distinct religious minority groups in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as well, urging its local partners to implement and monitor “current and new US-funded programs throughout the country.”

US Consul General in Erbil Steve Fagin and Special Representative for Minority Assistance Programs Max Primorac said in a joint statement that “protecting the rights of all religious minorities is a priority of the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State of the United States.”

“In support of the Vice President’s directive in October 2017, and through the passage of H.R. 390, the United States is making investments specifically to help persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq return home and repair their communities.”

The pair explained that the assistance combines short, medium, as well as long-term efforts in hopes of helping the minority groups with life-saving support.

“It will also restore access to essential services, rehabilitate critical infrastructure, improve access to jobs, support local businesses, and mobilize local and national actors to prevent future atrocities.”

They further pointed out that the US has been able to implement important projects in the areas of Qaraqosh, Karamles, Bashiqa, Sheikhan, Teskuf, Lalish, and Alqosh, Sinjar, Mosul, and other locations.

The statement additionally reaffirmed that Washington would make efforts to facilitate “all denominations to return home in safety and dignity.”

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