Good News For Iraq’s Assyrian!

6/19/2008 12:00:00 PM

Washington D.C. -- The driving force behind “The Biden Plan”, Senator Joseph Biden Jr. of Delaware in a recent conversation confirmed that “The Biden Plan” involves more than three divisions of Iraq.

Generally seen as a proposal to allow Iraq to grant autonomy to “Shiastan” in the south, “Sunnistan” in the middle of the country and “Kurdistan” in the North, Biden confirmed that his plan also included the Assyrian Province.

The plan mirrors among others the United Kingdom where England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their separate identity, parliament and yet function as one nation.

“Unfortunately the plan is often characterized as providing for autonomy for just the three groups in Iraq. We have never said that.” Biden continued .

“I met recently with the Iraqi Government and in addition to pressing our thoughts on allowing the various areas of Iraq to have autonomy also strongly pushed for the Assyrian Province as the fourth of the groups in Iraq.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the reaction from the Iraqi side as they strongly supported it.”

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden`s thoughts mean a lot in Washington.

Following on the heels of a proposal from Prime Minister Maliki and Foreign Minister Zebari for an Assyrian Province to balance out the regional needs in the country, Biden`s strident opposition to the war balanced with a clear plan forward is seen as an opening for a future for the country that can be sustainable.

Commenting on the reports an Assyrian Christian representative commented “The Assyrian Christians are the original people of Iraq and with nearly six million of our people scattered throughout the world, with nearly 500,000 as refugees in neighboring countries the only way forward we can see is for the Assyrian Province as a place our people can finally go to and be able to live in peace.”

As always the details are the most difficult, but an initial proposal from the Iraqi Government to begin with an Assyrian Security Zone would be the first step in convincing refugees to return.

The Iraqi Government has further promised to support all refugees living outside the country as well as pay their expenses to return to Iraq.

“For now, I would advise the Assyrians to be patient. We are in an election cycle and this tends to dominate Washington. Once the election is settled and the dust clears we can move forward and I believe it will become a reality.” said Biden.

Biden`s strong support for the Assyrian Christians in Iraq combined with a desire on the part of the Iraqi Government to see them return as well bodes well for the people of Nineveh and Jonah – the only people in the world who still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus and some good news for a change.