Leaders from the Syriac Orthodox Church visited Erbil and discussed the peaceful coexistence of different ethnic and religious groups in the autonomous Kurdistan Region with senior Kurdish officials who called on members of the Christian community to remain in the region.

The delegation was made up of a number of bishops and headed by Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and East, all of whom met with the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani on Friday.

In the meeting, Patriarch Aphrem II, who is also the Supreme Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church worldwide, thanked “the people and government of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces for their protection and assistance to Christians in difficult times,” read a statement issued by Barzani’s press office.

The religious leader highlighted the historical roots of the Christians in the region and praised the positive relations between different populations in the Kurdistan Region, the statement added.

Tags: ; ;