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Macron visits churches and mosques

Euronenews.com (29.08.2021) – https://bit.ly/3kA3OHJ – French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday visited Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction during the war to defeat the Islamic State group in 2017.

 

Macron began his visit to Mosul by touring the Our Lady of the Hour Church, a Catholic church that was badly damaged during the rule of IS that lasted from 2014 until the extremists’ defeat three years later. Iraqi children dressed in white and waving Iraqi and French flags sang upon Macron’s arrival.

 

It was the same church where Pope Francis led a special prayer during a visit to Iraq in March. During the trip, the Pontiff urged Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday visited Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction during the war to defeat the Islamic State group in 2017.

 

Macron began his visit to Mosul by touring the Our Lady of the Hour Church, a Catholic church that was badly damaged during the rule of IS that lasted from 2014 until the extremists’ defeat three years later. Iraqi children dressed in white and waving Iraqi and French flags sang upon Macron’s arrival.

 

It was the same church where Pope Francis led a special prayer during a visit to Iraq in March. During the trip, the Pontiff urged Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches.

Baghdad

Macron arrived in Baghdad early Saturday where he took part in a conference attended by officials from around the Middle East aimed at easing Mideast tensions and underscored the Arab country’s new role as mediator.

Macron hailed the Baghdad conference as a major boost for Iraq and its leadership. The country had been largely shunned by Arab leaders for the past few decades because of security concerns amid back-to-back wars and internal unrest, its airport was frequently attacked with rockets by insurgents.

Macron vowed to maintain troops in Iraq “regardless of the Americans’ choices” and “for as long as the Iraqi government is asking for our support.” France currently contributes to the international coalition forces in Iraq with 800 soldiers.

On Saturday night, Macron visited a Shiite holy shrine in Baghdad before flying to the northern city of Irbil, where he met Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, the 28-year-old activist who was forced into sexual slavery by IS fighters in Iraq.

A member of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, Murad was among thousands of women and girls who were captured and forced into sexual slavery by IS in 2014. Her mother and six brothers were killed by IS fighters in Iraq. She became an activist on behalf of women and girls after escaping and finding refuge in Germany and shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.

 

Photo : French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at Irbil international airport, Iraq, early Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. Copyright  Hadi Mizban/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

 

 

Further reading on FORB in Iraq on HRWF website

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