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We are a group who seek to promote international friendship and understanding.

We meet together regularly for social events and fundraising and take part in exchange visits with similar groups from our twin cities and partner towns abroad.

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Mosul Conference – Saturday 26 June 2021, Saturday 

Coventry Association for International friendship with the Mosul Foundation regarding the “Rebuilding of the City of Mosul in Iraq”. 

Good Morning Lord Mayor and guest participants for today’s virtual conference and for all those who may be joining through various channels on social media. 

I am Councillor Ram P. Lakha, OBE – Chair of the Coventry Association for International Friendship which has been supporting Mosul Foundation in its pursuit of peace and international friendship. I thank my colleague Mrs Linda Hirons who, as Secretary of C.A.I.F., has been working closely alongside myself and other colleagues with our friend - Rabee Al-Hafidh, President of the Mosul Foundation.

I also thank all members of C.A.I.F. for accepting Mosul Foundation into its membership since the time when we were contacted in October 2018. I admire the efforts of Mr Al-Hafidh and his colleagues for working hard and for being patient and fully-focused on their efforts to pursue the project of rebuilding Mosul after the destruction caused by the Iraq War.

Your worshipful Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor John McNicholas, it is my honour and humble duty as chair of C.A.I.F. to join with Linda and Rabee in welcoming you to this International Conference which is also supported by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University along with the Global Rising Peace Forum. Lord Mayor, your support today and excellent contribution is very valued. I also extend my welcome to the respectable and learned Speakers for today’s Conference.

The members of the Mosul Foundation have been working hard to forge links with the international community to rebuild Mosul City. For them, Coventry is a leading light in this field, as Coventry was rebuilt after the destruction caused during World War Two and is a beacon of international friendship and of Peace and Reconciliation. I also welcome all the Speakers for taking time out on a Saturday to contribute to this conference.

Mr Rabee Al-Hafidh contacted C.A.I.F. in October 2018 through Coventry City Council and since that time considerable efforts have been made and a dialogue has taken place amongst the relevant partners to prepare for this conference. Originally, the expectation had been to hold this conference in the prestigious ambience of Coventry’s Council House building, and certain arrangements had been put in place to make this possible. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic which began in the United Kingdom in March 2020 impacted on all aspects of our social activity including the arrangement for this conference. 

I will now hand back to Linda and Rabee to move forward with today’s business while I welcome you all.