His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Catholicos Patriarch has welcomed to the Chicago Patriarchate, both His Excellency Dr Hamid Al-Bayati, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations, and Dr William Eshaya, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq.
It is noteworthy that Dr Eshaya is a member of the Assyrian Church of the East.
During the meeting, on 6 May, the general political and social condition of Iraq was discussed, as well as general human rights concerns of the Assyrian people and their status as the indigenous people of Iraq.
The visiting delegation expressed the hope that greater political and social stability in Iraq will stem the exodus of Assyrian Christians from their ancestral homeland and that they may live in safety and security.
Terrorism targeting the Assyrian people in Iraq and their persecution in recent years was a point of particular importance in the discussions.
His Holiness briefed the delegation on the current construction of a patriarchal complex in northern Iraq which is intended to be the centre of the Assyrian Church of the East following its completion.
His Holiness put to His Excellency the Permanent Representative, the desire of the Assyrian Church of the East to see Iraq become a model of peace and security in the Middle East region.
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Excellency Dr Al-Bayati presented a gift to the Catholicos Patriarch. In turn, the Catholicos Patriarch presented His Excellency with a commemorative memento bearing an image of the Holy Cross and the insignia of the Assyrian Church of the East.
Also present during the meeting was the Rev. Archdeacon Shlemon Khazqiel as well as Dr Odisho Khoshaba Primo, Sheba Mando, Yonadam Youkhana and Bobby Youkhana.[nggallery id=383]