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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Iraq News: Top Shi'ite cleric meets Sunni leader

[Update] 9/28/07- Right Truth has more Iraq News, go read.

BAGHDAD — Nearly two months after Sunni Arab ministers walked out, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to have weathered a political crisis that once threatened to bring down his government.

Using a mix of brinkmanship, political cunning and strong U.S. support, the Shi'ite leader now appears to have seized the political initiative from his opponents. (Source)

For the first time Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani met the country's Sunni vice president on Thursday to discuss a new initiative aimed at uniting feuding politicians.

From Reuters:

Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who heads the Sunni Islamic Party, met the reclusive Sistani in the holy Shi'ite city of Najaf in southern Iraq where he lives.

Sistani rarely leaves his home and makes few public statements. But Sistani sponsored Maliki's Shi'ite alliance and is hugely influential among Iraq's Shi'ites.

Hashemi stressed he had not asked Sistani to put pressure on any Shi'ite group to return to cabinet, saying the purpose of the meeting had been to discuss the new initiative, known as the Iraqi National Compact.

"The meeting was profound and many issues related to the political process were discussed," Hashemi told reporters after his meeting with the highly influential Shi'ite cleric.

"I briefed his eminence on the Iraqi National Compact and he informed me he had already seen a copy and read, analysed and expressed his remarks on the initiative," he said.

The Iraqi National Compact is a set of 25 political principles unveiled by Hashemi's party on Wednesday aimed at removing deep mistrust among politicians.

Remember earlier this month, 19 of the 25 major tribes in Diyala agreed to support the al-Maliki government in their fight against al-Qaeda.

Slowly but surely, reconciliation is happening in Iraq.

Good for them.

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