As Omar of 24 steps forward and 48 steps backward to "liberty" claims to be able to unite Iraqis, Sistani repeats his call to unite Iraqis:
Iraq's top Shiite cleric calls for unity
NAJAF, Iraq (AP) — Iraq's top Shiite cleric renewed his call for an end to sectarian violence in the country and for Sunni and Shiite Muslims to unite, according to a Sunni cleric who met him Tuesday in this holy city south of Baghdad.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's plea for peace and unity came as a group of Sunni and Shiite clerics met in Najaf in the latest attempt by clerics from both sects to stem the violence. The meeting was sponsored by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, Iraq's most influential Shiite party, which is closely linked to al-Sistani.
Later, Khaled al-Mulla, one of the 10-member Sunni delegation, said the Iranian-born religious leader called for solidarity between the two sects and an end to the bloodshed, which has intensified after a major Shiite shrine north of Baghdad was bombed in February 2006 by Sunni militants.
"I am a servant of all Iraqis," al-Mulla quoted al-Sistani as saying.
The wave of sectarian killings that followed the Samarra bombing continues until today, but has significantly abated since a major Iraqi-U.S. security plan was launched nine months ago. continued
Also: Top cleric al-Sistani urges Shiites to protect Sunnis
Najaf, Nov 27, (VOI)- Top Shiite Cleric Ali al-Sistani urged Shiites to protect their Sunni brothers and defend them, head of south Iraq's scholars body said on Tuesday.
Shiekh Khaled al-Mulla said at a press conference held in Najaf after the visit made by a delegation of Sunni and Shiite clerics to al-Sistani, "The top cleric asserted on the sanctity of Iraq's blood, urging Shiites to protect and defend Sunnis."
Sistani said in the two-hour meeting "I'm a servant for all Iraqis and there is no difference between Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, or Christians."
"Sistani also warned Iraq's clerics of enemies' plots to differentiate between Iraqis," Sheikh Mulla said.
Preparations are currently underway to hold the first national meeting between Shiite and Sunni clerics in the city of Najaf. The delegation consisted of clerics from Iraq's Kurdistan, Basra, al-Nasriyah, and Falluja.
Najaf lies 180 km south of Baghdad.