BEIRUT: Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil visited Baghdad Monday to express his solidarity with Iraq, warning that its division, and the flight of the country's minorities, would have a tremendous negative impact on the region.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Iraq’s acting Foreign Minister Hussein Shahristani, Bassil said that Lebanon and Iraq shared a lot of common features, especially the diversity of their social fabric, and as such were bound to share the same fate.
“Our keenness to preserve Iraq stems from our keenness to preserve ourselves, because we are facing the same threats. The threat on our diversity,” Bassil said.
Bassil warned that the onslaught against Mosul's Christians was not a recent phenomenon, saying that Iraqi's Christians had faced discrimination for more than 20 years. This discrimination has forced them to emigrate and, according to Bassil, has led to a decline in the Iraqi Christian community from 2 million to less than half a million.
“Christianity is in danger, and the new Iraqi government should secure all prerequisites for preserving [Iraq's] Christians, including security and economic means," he said.