United States Vice President Mike Pence met with a leading Chaldean Archbishop on Monday to discuss how the U.S. government can best help the recovering Iraqi Christian community in the aftermath of the Islamic State.
In Washington, Pence met with Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil Bashar Warda, a man who oversees the archdiocese that has sheltered and aided thousands upon thousands of Christians who were forced to flee their home three years ago and feared going to United Nations camps to face further persecution.
As the Nineveh Plains and Mosul have been liberated and IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Deash) has been defeated from a military perspective, Pence wrote in a tweet Monday afternoon that his discussion with Warda was “important dialogue.”
According to the tweet, he reiterated to Warda President Donald Trump’s commitment “to directly assist persecuted Christians [and] religious minorities in Iraq.”
In a statement, the 48-year-old Warda explained that he and the vice president had a “substantial discussion.”
“I updated him on the situation facing our people and expressed our hope that peace would soon come to Nineveh,” Warda, who said in an AFP interview last week that there are as many as 20,000 Christian families who still need help returning home.
The meeting comes as Iranian influence is now present in Nineveh towns once mostly populated by Christians before IS took over, and has prevented some from returning to their homes.
SOURCE: Samuel Smith