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Pope's itinerary do not mention meeting between him, KDP's Barzani

  2021-03-08  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani meets with Pope Francis in Erbil, March 7, 2021.
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Despite not being included in the formal Pope Francis’s itinerary for the last leg of his fleeting trip through Iraq, the pontiff on Sunday (March 7) met with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani at the Presidential VIP at the Erbil International Airport. 

The Pope arrived in Iraq on Friday for a three-day trip through the war-torn Iraq. He met with several Iraqi senior Iraqi and Kurdish officials. 

According to the formal itinerary for the second day, Pope was only supposed to meet with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, son and nephew to Barzani, at the airport. 

Even media outlets affiliated with the Pope did not mention the meeting in their news. 

It was not clear how the pair met as the Pope usually meets with state officials and clerics.

Barzani is the former president of the Kurdistan Region who led the ill-fated 2017 Kurdistan Region Independence Referendum, but he stepped down in early November the same year under local and international pressures following losing most portion of the Kurdistan Region’s lands to the Iraqi army.

Francis also met with leading Shite Cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf on Saturday and visited the historic city of Ur and several churches in Baghdad, Mosul, Qaraqosh and Erbil.

(Zhyan English)