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June 21 2016 | ROME, ITALY

Peace and respect of minorities in the agreement between Sant'Egidio and the Commission for the Reconciliation of Iraq

Marco Impagliazzo: "We will put at the service of this important country our experience in mediation and interreligious dialogue"

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This morning it was signed in Rome a Memorandum of Understanding between the Supreme Commission for the Reconciliation of Iraq and the Community of Sant'Egidio, which contains the basic features for a scheme to rebuild peace and promote coexistence between the various ethnic, social and religious components of the Iraqi population. There were present to seal the agreement, in Trastevere, in the Peace Hall of the Community, the president Marco Impagliazzo representing Sant'Egidio and Kahtan Al Jibouri representing Iraq. It is the fruit of a long period of work, started some months ago through meetings held, also in Rome, between the two parties.

The Supreme Commission for the National Reconciliation of Iraq, composed of delegates of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the President of Parliament and the President of the Constitutional Court, asked the Community of Sant'Egidio to contribute, with its experience, to the work of dialogue and mediation that the Commission itself has been responsible to develop in the country.

Impagliazzo explained that Sant'Egidio "will help not only on the basis of its long international experience in building peace, but to encourage, in particular, interreligious dialogue." It is an important factor in a country that needs to dissociate at all levels religions and different ethnic groups from war and violence: "War - recalled Impagliazzo - is never holy, only peace is holy". Thanking the Community of Sant'Egidio for the help they can give to the Iraqi people, Al Jibouri assured "the involvement of the state on the path of reconciliation, an essential step to move to the urgently needed reconstruction of the country", the victim of too much violence and terrorism.

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