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 Updated: July 18, 2014

UN says Sistani man of wisdom, discusses Daash atrocities

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY CITY OF NAJAF, Iraq: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sought guidance from Iraq’s top cleric last week, strongly condemning grave human rights violations against civilians, places of worship, religious leaders and atrocities in the areas controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS).

Ban’s meeting with al-Marjae Al-Aala Grand Ayatollah Sayed Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani underscored the 83-year-old cleric’s vast sway in Iraq.

A spokesman for Ban told Reuters the United Nations chief held meeting with Sistani in the city of Najaf to seek his wisdom on developments in Iraq.

“I am extremely honored to have met His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani today for the first time.

He is a man of the deepest wisdom and tolerance. He is an inspiration and a role model for his many followers in Iraq and beyond,” the UN chief said.

We reviewed the current crisis in Iraq and the necessary humanitarian response. I expressed the United Nations’ gratitude for His Eminence’s support for all efforts to protect civilians in the current conflict.

We discussed in detail the multiple reports of grave human rights violations against civilians, places of worship, religious leaders and atrocities in the areas controlled by the Islamic State.

The Security Council of the United Nations and the rest of the international community have spoken out against these acts, loud and clear. Here in Najaf, I once again, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, strongly condemn these violations of fundamental universal human rights.

His Eminence underscored that the fight against the Islamic State and other armed groups should be exclusively conducted by the Iraqi Security Forces and only within the framework of the Constitution. We also discussed the ongoing political process of government formation.

The UN had further said: “In this time of crisis, when we see the shocking treatment of minorities by the Islamic State, His Eminence continues to preach peace, love and unity among all elements of Iraqi society.”


 

 
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