Iraq: Minority Groups

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the long-term political rights and rights to security of minorities returning to live in Iraqi villages on the Nineveh Plain; and what discussions they have had with the government of Iraq about (1) laws giving equal citizenship and status to minorities, and (2) the role of Iraqi courts and security forces in protecting areas which have historically been populated by minorities.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

We support the safe, voluntary return of displaced members of Iraq's minority communities, including to the Ninewa Plain. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa held productive discussions on this subject with representatives from the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government during his visit to Iraq in January. Given that security is one of the primary concerns facing those displaced persons wishing to return home, the Minister reinforced the importance of Federal Government control over Iraqi security forces and militias. We have also supported community reconciliation efforts and pressed for reform of legislation to ensure minorities are not marginalised. On 13-14 February 2019 our Ambassador to Iraq met with Christian communities in six towns across the Ninewa Plain to discuss their needs and priorities and to review the UN-delivered "Funding Facility for Stabilisation" efforts, to which the UK has contributed £23.15 million.

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