Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Political Leadership of the Kurdistan Region has welcomed a call by Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani for dialogue as something positive that goes in line with the Kurdish position on resolving disagreements with the central government through peaceful negotiations.
Representatives of Kurdish parties said in a public statement on Sunday that Ayatollah Sistani’s “call is an important step to protect our principles which are the protection of peace, social security and uprooting violence and threats.”
Ayatollah Sisitani who’s the highest religious authority of the Shiite faith in Iraq called through his representative Ahmed Alsafi during a sermon on Friday that all sides must avoid violence and work to ensure “principles prevail over the sword,”
The Ayatollah’s representative said this principle takes inspiration from Imam Hussein’s Revolution.
“The initiative made by the Grand Ayatollah to return to dialogue corresponds completely to our opinion, which is dialogue as the only way to resolve the outstanding problems and questions between Erbil and Baghdad,” the Kurdish parties said on Sunday.
Ayatollah Sistani said through Alsafi: “We also call on the Iraqi government and the political powers represented in parliament in all their decisions and steps to take into consideration the preservation of the constitutional rights of our Kurdish brothers,”
Since the announcement of the results of Kurdistan Region’s referendum on Wednesday in which a resounding 92 percent of the votes opted for independence the Iraqi government has imposed on the region a flight ban and has threatened to close all land borders in coordination with neighbouring countries such as Iran and Turkey.
Kurdish leaders however, still insist on peaceful negotiations with Baghdad would see disputes solved and both countries would be able to live side by side as two good neighbours.
“That is why we hereby declare, on the basis of the call made by the Grand Ayatollah, our readiness to commence serious negotiations with the Iraqi government,” said a joint statement from Kurdish parties.
“We believe that continued dialogue is the main mechanism to build brotherhood, positive interaction and the production of shared results. Moreover, having dialogue will eliminate the phenomenon of hatred and racism which are the result of frictions in the current political and social life in Iraq.”