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Rome Reports

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Iraqi Kurdistan prime minister asks Pope Francis to encourage international community

Pope Francis met with Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani at the Apostolic Palace. The two primarily discussed the humanitarian crisis in the prime minister's homeland. Kurdistan is the only region in Iraq where thousands of Christian families have found safety from the Islamic State. Barzani said this has placed incredible stress on his government. The prime minister asked Pope Francis to encourage the international community to provide more assistance to Kurdistan. Following their meeting, the Pope made a common request. But he was surprised by the answer, and both men smiled. POPE FRANCIS "Pray for me. I need it.� NECHIRVAN BARZANI "No, no.� POPE FRANCIS "Yes! Yes! Don't forget.� During his Angelus prayer the day before, the Pope denounced the "intolerable brutality� of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. ATO CTV SV -BN Up: GRT #POPE