Immigration issues were at the top of the agenda in a meeting between His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, and Mr Haval Aziz Syan, the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq along with Mr Samir Yousif, the Mayor of Fairfield City.
Easter blessings and congratulatory wishes were given to Mar Meelis by both individuals and, in return, His Beatitude Mar Meelis also sent out his blessings to them and their communities.
The topic of immigration was raised by Mr Syan, who noted the need for countries such as Australia to allow and accept refugees into their country. Mr Syan stated that he met with Australian officials with authority in the field of immigration in Australia. However, the main boulder in the way of accepting further refugees would appear to be the issue of budget and the catering of these families upon their arrival.
His Beatitude Mar Meelis stressed the need for aid in helping these refugees to reach a better future for them and their families. He also urged countries such as the United States, Australia and other European countries to appeal for more aid.
Specific points were mentioned throughout the meeting, including the situation of Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries of the Middle East and the best ways of providing them with assistance.
Mr Syan spoke well of the achievements of the Assyrian community in Sydney, and of humanitarian and international organisations in aiding and supporting these immigrants in the Middle East. This aid allows these families to establish a better future for the next generation by meeting their needs in the state they are in.
Mr Syan also mentioned that the Government of the Kurdistan Region is trying its best to establish a sense of security for Christians living in that area. A program is also being established to encourage the return of refugees to the Kurdistan region, with the aim of giving them a better life.
Housing, food, jobs and careers, building facilities and foreign companies are needed to create a competitive environment allowing the usual sense of economics to be available in that region.
His Beatitude Mar Meelis mentioned the state of Christians living in Lebanon seeing as His Beatitude has had numerous opportunities to spend time with these families.
His Beatitude commended the Patriarch Michel Doralamtaran Qasarji, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Lebanon for the Chaldean Church, for providing a helping hand to Christian refugees in Lebanon. The Chaldean Church has played an important role in allocating medical services to Iraqi immigrants.
The meeting concluded with Mr Syan wishing all the best of success for His Beatitude Mar Meelis and the Assyrian community in Sydney.[nggallery id=183]