Press Release

Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani Receives UN Special Representative for Iraq Ján Kubiš in Najaf

29 November 2017

Najaf, Iraq, 29 November 2017 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, was received today by His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani in Najaf.

“I am extremely honoured that I was once again received by His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. It is a great honour for us - the United Nations - and for me personally. We had an in-depth discussion about what is on the agenda of the country, of Iraq, and I was listening to the points His Eminence was making as a guidance for future activities and future steps.”

SRSG Kubiš congratulated His Eminence, the people and the Government of Iraq on the victory against the terrorist Daesh structures, emphasizing that this victory was for the whole of Iraq and the world, and that the Marjaiya’s fatwa that mobilized patriotic popular forces was instrumental in defeating the terrorist Daesh.

SRSG Kubiš appreciated in particular the human aspect of His Eminence’s calls and sermons on human and social issues, including care for the families of the martyrs and survivors of the fight against Daesh, a better future for the youth, the voluntary return of the internally displaced people to the conditions of safety and security, protection of civilians and resolute action against perpetrators of criminal acts and violators of human rights.

Following the appeal of His Eminence to take all steps to ensure a rapid, voluntary return of IDPs to their homes with dignity, to enable at least a minimum level of reconstruction and delivery of services, and to ensure the appropriate level of security that would protect civilians against terror, and create a barrier against the return of terrorism, SRSG Kubiš confirmed that the United Nations will accelerate its support to this end. He also shared the view of His Eminence that it is important to ensure the full implementation of the PMF law that would i.a. guarantee that weapons are exclusively in the hands of the state and under its control or that the PMF should not be involved in the elections.

In reference to the unwavering support by His Eminence of the full respect and implementation of the Constitution and the laws of united Iraq, Mr. Kubiš confirmed to His Eminence that the UN fully shares this approach, also as regards the Baghdad–Erbil relations, including guarantees of the full constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and its people, or the timely holding of the general elections.

The government’s reform programme, including fighting corruption, has the full support of the United Nations, the SRSG said. He pledged continuous UN assistance and joined His Eminence in urging the government to resolutely move to prosecute individuals accused of corruption and retrieve the embezzled funds which should be used to fulfill the people’s needs.

Samir Ghattas

Samir Ghattas

Director of Public Information/Spokesperson United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq

UNAMI Public Information Office


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