Zeibari to the Pope: Iraq will protect its Christians
Iraq-Vatican, Politics, 12/14/2004
The Vatican said that the Iraqi foreign minister Hoshiar Zebari said during a meeting with Pope John Paul II on Monday that religious freedom in Iraq will be ensured and Christians will enjoy protection.
The spokesman for the Vatican, Jawakin Navaro, said in a statement issued after the meeting that the "Minister thanked his holiness and the aides for the help he has ever given to Iraq and stressed his government commitment to ensure religious freedom and defense of the Christian groups."
In a press conference he held later in Rome, Zeibari said "I do express appreciation for the moral authority of the Pope and the Catholic church for establishing peace in Iraq," noting the need that the "new Iraqi constitution" will preserve human rights and religious freedoms.
Zeibari stressed replying to a question on Saddam Hussein's trial "the right of the toppled Iraqi President and his aides to have a transparent and just trial." He said "They are Iraqis and we will implement same justice Saddam had banned millions of Iraqis from." He added that Saddam has not observed a hunger strike.
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