Washington, D.C. (09-26-2011) -- The Senate Appropriations Full Committee legislated support for Iraq's indigenous Assyrians, including Chaldeans and Syriacs. The Full Committee supports the Art. 125 process towards the establishment of a province in the Nineveh Plain. Policy submitted by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), received Full Committee support, asserting:
The Committee continues to recognize the importance of providing targeted assistance to ethno-religious minorities in Iraq to help ensure their continued survival, especially those living in the Ninevah Plains region. The Committee directs the Department of State to submit a report, not later than 90 days after enactment of this act, detailing U.S. efforts to help these communities, including assistance consistent with Article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution; assistance in building an indigenous community police force in the Ninevah Plains; and efforts to support NGOs in the region.
The legislation details policy consistent with the three pillars of the Nineveh Plain Province Solution (NPPS) which calls for support for the formation of a Nineveh Plain Province through Art. 125 of the Iraqi Constitution, expansion and resources for the nascent local police force in the Nineveh Plain, and development assistance delivered by independent NGOs.
Legislation in the Senate builds on the substance and spirit of the legislation advanced in the House of Representatives and supported by numerous Representatives. The language proposed by Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Gary Peters (D-MI) made it possible to enhance the profile of the Assyrians' crisis in Iraq and gather widespread support.
Dozens of Senators and almost half the United States House of Representatives heard the grassroots voices of Assyrian Americans in their multitudes. Grassroots supporters of the NPPS can take enormous pride in knowing they are directly contributing to progress in the effort to create the Nineveh Plain Province and related policies to ensure Assyrians and other vulnerable peoples can survive today and hopefully one day thrive in Iraq.
The NPPS policy was developed by the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project in coordination with Iraqi and US partners. The Assyrian American National Coalition and American Mesopotamian Organization each coordinated NPPS grassroots campaigns ensuring the US Congress heard the voices of Assyrian Americans. Many community organizations supported the NPPS. Nationally, the Assyrian American National Federation mobilized followed by its regional mobilization along with the Assyrian Aid Society -- USA and Iraqi Christian Relief Council. The Assyrian National Council of Illinois, Ishtar Cultural Center, Seyfo Center USA, Suraya National Federation, Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Movement, Chaldean American Student Association, and American-based 'Black Marches Movement' activists.
Assyrian American National Coalition