Netherlands Requests Assyrian Autonomous State in Iraq

6/17/2008 10:59:00 PM

According to one of the main Iraqi newspapers, Al-Iraq, the government of Netherlands has requested the European Union, as well as the Iraqi government to help the indigenous Assyrian Christians of Iraq to establish their own autonomous state of Assyria in northern Iraq.

The Parliament of Netherlands submitted this request via two of its ministers. Additionally, Netherlands is requesting the government of Iraq to conduct a referendum from the Assyrians in Iraq regarding their desire for an autonomous state. The request also included the suggestion of creating an Assyrian Christian militia to protect their independent state.

Also, in addition to 10,000 Iraqis refugees, mostly Assyrians who currently reside in Netherlands, the country has announced its willingness to accept more Assyrian refugees who are stranded in the neighboring countries.

This is the first time a foreign government has taken it upon itself to sponsor the Holy Assyrian Cause for an autonomous state for Assyrians in their ancestral land.

Iraqi government has not responded to this request from Amsterdam yet, but in the past, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and other officials in Iraqi parliament have acknowledged Assyrians' constitutional rights to have their own autonomous state in northern Iraq.

Attiya Gamri Beth Arsan is the Assyrian MP in Parliament of Netherlands.