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Posted by on Oct 17, 2008 in Economy, Religion, War | 1 comment

Grand Ayatollah Sistani Offers Blessing to U.S.-Iraq Security Deal: From Iraq’s Al-Sabaah

A few days ago, a meeting of great significance to the United States took place in the Iraqi Holy City of Najaf.

With Iraq on the cusp of signing a historic, long-term security deal with Washington, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sought the approval of that nation’s most powerful man: the reclusive Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

According to this article from Iraq’s Al-Sabaah newspaper, which outlines some of the remaining sore points between the U.S. and Iraq, Prime Minister al-Maliki got what he came for: the imprimatur of the nation’s leading cleric.

The article says in part:

In a meeting yesterday that lasted about two hours, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed current developments in the Iraqi arena with religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani at Sistani’s residence in Najaf. … Regarding Ayatollah Sistani’s opinion on the agreement, al-Maliki said: “Grand Ayatollah Sistani entrusts Iraqis and their political leaders to decide on what to agree to and rely upon. … he had no objections to anything we achieve through the efforts of Iraq’s officials and institutions, provided that all segments of the Iraqi people participate and that it is constitutional. In addition, he said that it mustn’t be something imposed on the Iraqi people.”

The article also talks of the progress that the Iraqi government believes it has made and upcoming talks between the central government and the Kurds in regard to the Kurdish region’s autonomy.

Translated By James Jacobson

October 11, 2008

Iraq – Al-Sabaah – Original Article (Arabic)

BAGHDAD AND AL-NAJAF: In a meeting yesterday that lasted about two hours, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed current developments in the Iraqi arena with religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani at Sistani’s residence in Najaf. [Sistani is the preeminent Shiite cleric in Iraq ].

Topping the agenda was the draft security agreement with the United States government.

Informed sources revealed yesterday to Al-Sabaah that the government has received a new draft of the convention on security with the United States. President Jalal al-Talabani along with the Prime Minister were very clear in pointing out that the United States had made concessions on several points of contention in the agreement. At a press conference in Najaf after his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sistani, al-Maliki said that talks on the security agreement with the United States are in their final stages, but he acknowledged that there are still points that need research and deliberation, and that “the final review still isn’t complete.”

Regarding the religious authority’s opinion on the agreement, al-Maliki said: “Grand Ayatollah Sistani entrusts Iraqis and their political leaders to decide on what to agree to and rely upon.” Al-Maliki stressed that Ayatollah Sistani, “had no objections to anything we achieve through the efforts of Iraq’s officials and institutions, provided that all segments of the Iraqi people participate and that it is constitutional. In addition, he said that it mustn’t be something imposed on the Iraqi people.”

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated Iraqi coverage of the conflict in Iraq.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • pacatrue

    Now, there’s a guy you want to sit down and have a beer with.

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