The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, today met for more than two hours the Supreme Religious Authority in Najaf, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Sistani (pictured).
“I have delivered to His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani a letter from the United Nations Secretary-General welcoming his support for the protection of civilians in the current conflict, and his stance against sectarianism”, Mr. Mladenov said, adding that “it is very important today for the political and community leaders to unite in the face of the current crisis threatening Iraq’s integrity and social fabric”.
Mr. Mladenov further stated “we are in full agreement with His Eminence on the need to expedite the government formation process and form a new government that is acceptable to all communities. We urge all leaders to refrain from radical statements and accusations and agree on a common vision in order to save Iraq from terrorism, sectarianism, and division”.
“There are more than one million people in Iraq who have lost their homes as a result of the current conflict”, Mr. Mladenov said, adding that the United Nations is deeply concerned about the systematic targeting of religious and ethnic minorities, which may amount to crimes against humanity. The situation of displaced children and women, especially households headed by women, remains particularly volatile.