(COURTESY OF SLOGGER) Najaf, Jun 10, (VOI)- Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr visited, on Sunday night, top Shiite cleric ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in his office in Najaf and both discussed the latest security and political developments in Iraq, a source from Sistani’s office said.

“Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr visited, today at 9:30 pm, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and both leaders discussed the political and security situation in the country,” the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). The source gave no further details. Sadr’s visit to Sistani today is the first since the young Shiite cleric Sadr resurfaced two weeks ago.

Earlier on Sunday, the Shiite cleric Sadr called in a statement upon Turkey to solve all problems with Iraq peacefully. “Though Iraqi cities and territories are seen by many as lacking sovereignty because of the occupation, this should not be taken as a pretext to attack and shell cities and villages inside Iraq,” Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said in a statement received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Reminded of the Turkish stand on the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Sadr said “one day, we were pleased to hear that Turkey rejected the attack and occupation of Iraq. We were even more pleased when Turkey demanded a timetable for the pullout of the occupation from Iraq.” Sadr described Turkey’s stand on not backing up attacks on Iraq as a move to support the Iraqi people and not the former regime.

The Shiite cleric, who rejected the shellings, called on the Turkish nation to stop sedition between the two Muslim nations. “The Kurdish people are an indivisible part of the Iraqi population and it is our duty to defend them. Turks are also our friends whose sovereignty, security and territories should be respected,” Sadr said in the statement.

Sadr expressed readiness to settle problems peacefully, among all sides, for the good of both nations. On Saturday, local residents said Turkish artillery had shelled the border villages of Dishish and Bidohi inside the Iraqi territories.

Accordingly, Iraq’s foreign ministry summoned the Turkish envoy to Baghdad and gave him a letter protesting the shelling.


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