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Sarkis Aghajan Mamendo (born 1962) is an Iraqi Assyrian politician who was appointed Minister for Finance and Economy in the cabinet of Iraqi Kurdistan on 2006-05-07. He was born in Diyana, Arbil Governorate, and is part of the Nochiya Tribe. He was elected into the Kurdistan National Assembly in the first Iraqi Kurdistan election in 1992. In the previous cabinet, Sarkis Aghajan Mamendo was the Minister for Finance and the Economy from 1999 to 2006, and Deputy Prime Minister from 2004 to 2006 in the Arbil & Dohuk administration. Sarkis Aghajan Mamendo is an Assyrian whose family origins are from the district of Shamezdin in the Hakkari Province. Aghajan appears to owe his ascendancy within the Kurdistan Democratic Party power structure to his personal relationship to Nechervan Idris Barzani, the Kurdish prime minister. His supporters say that as young men, the two were forced to flee Iraq with their families in 1975, after the United States withdrew support for the Barzani clan, and grew up together on the Aghajan family estate in Iran.[1] He is known within the Assyrian community throughout of northern Iraq for helping rebuild Churches, roads, schools and Assyrian villages.[citation needed] He is also the one who helped fund the new Assyrian channel (Ishtar TV) which is broadcast in three languages (Arabic, Kurdish and Assyrian). In August 2006, Sarkis was awarded the "Knight Commander of the order of Saint Gregory the Great" by Pope Benedict XVI as a way to honor his work with the Assyrian Christian community in Iraq.[2] Aghajan was awarded the title, which is one of the highest and most widely recognized pontifical orders, for his contribution to the Assyrian community and his work for Christians in Iraq.[2] Contents 1 Sargis Aghajan's mystery disappearance 2 See also 3 External links 4 References // Sargis Aghajan's mystery disappearance There is growing speculation that the Assyrian Finance minister Mr Aghajan is missing, with many believing he is ill or has been the victim of an assassination. While the media in North Iraq has been careful with the controversy the Assyrian International News Agency reported conflicting statements of a close relative to Mr Aghajan saying he has said he feared his days were numbered and they would kill him. He also said he tried to resign several times but was not allowed.[3] Mr Aghajan has not been publicly seen since his visit to churches and halls back in October 2008 when more than 20,000 Assyrians had been displaced from Mosul after an organised killing and displacement campaign, in which more than 13 people died. Iraqi Authorities has reported 4 of the suspects arrested over the incidents had been members of a Kurdish political group with connections to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) the same government Mr Aghajan is the Finance Minister. Aghajan has already officially been replaced him with Bayiz Saeed Mohammad with the KRG stating that Mohammead was the finance minister since May 2006 even though Aghajan was the finance minister up till the time of the events in October 2008.[4] In March 2009, after five months of abense, Sarkis appeared in the Vatican city as part of a delegation from the Iraqi Kurdistan government that met with the pope.[citation needed] See also List of Assyrians External links References ^ ^ a b قداسة البابا بيندكتس السادس عشر يمنح وسام القائد والفارس للسيد سركيس أغا جان ^ ^ Kurdistan Corporation Kurdistan Regional Government Preceded by Nuri Kino Zinda Magazine Assyrian of the Year 2007 (6756) Succeeded by Attiya Gamri Persondata Name Mamendo, Sarkis Aghajan Alternative names Short description Date of birth 1962 Place of birth Date of death Place of death