Translated from Aleteia’s Arabic edition
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States which means that the US international policy will change. Everybody knows that the new President will open up a new page with Russia, to whom Christians resorted to prevent the expansion of ISIS in the East.
In order to shed light on the policy of the new American administration towards the Christians in the Middle East, Aleteia interviewed Johny Messo, President of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) and Tony Nissi, Vice-president of the International Christian Union for the Middle East.
Johny Messo, President of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs)
Messo expressed his enthusiasm for Trump’s election. He is confident that the new American administration will pay greater attention to the Christians than the previous one.
Messo, who is a close friend of Trump Lebanese advisers, will be traveling to the States, heading a high level Syriac delegation, to congratulate the new administration and convey the Eastern Christians claims and the need to convene an International Conference for Christians in the USA in order to support the Christian presence in the Middle- East.
Concerning the liberation of Mosul, Messo believes that Christians won’t go back to Mosul without an international protection. He revealed that high level contacts are aiming at establishing an autonomous region in northern Iraq for Christians, Yazidis and Turkmens.
Messo concluded by saying that Trump will bring back Christian values to America and Europe after its people abandoned these values considered as the foundation of the civilization of both continents.
Tony Nissi, Vice-president of the International Christian Union for the Middle East.
The International Christian Union, based in New York, is an international organization registered in the United States headed by Joseph Hakim, an American of Lebanese origin and a leading figure of the US Republican party.
Nissi considers that Trump’s election will have a positive impact on the Christians in the Middle East who have themselves to start by submitting a unified project to the US administration. There is no doubt that the US will put the Christians of the Middle East on the map again not only because Trump is interested in doing so but because he is surrounded by a big number of Christian Lebanese consultants.
Trump was surrounded lately by a group of Lebanese businessmen and consultants who know the Middle East well among whom Ziad Abedlnour, Walid Phares, Gabriel Sawma and others. They all left Lebanon during the civil war but dedicated themselves to work for the cause of Christians in the Middle East and Lebanon.
Nissi believes that Trump is against terrorism and that he is a man who believes in religious freedom, respect minorities and believes in the need to protect ethnic and religious minorities. He will not compromise on the Christian presence in the Middle East even though he did not mention Lebanon once in his speeches. The US administration vision concerning the East and Lebanon will become clearer in the few upcoming months.
Nissi pointed out that Christians in the East don’t have a project and that is not healthy. They have to close ranks and unify the project and submit it to the new US administration.
The International Christian Union will exert pressure from inside America to protect the Christians in the Middle East and the Middle East office will continue its work from Lebanon to be the link between the homeland and overseas. The office will raise awareness concerning the expectations abroad and will provide all the needed information to the new US administration in order to facilitate its communication with Lebanon and the East.