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ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarch Sako praises the pro-demonstrators position of the Ayatollah al Sistani: a "quick solution" to the crisis is needed

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Posted on: 11/27/19
Baghdad - The protests that have been shaking Iraq for two months have become a national reference point, and in a country devastated by wars, corruption and economic problems, the socio-political crisis has become "unsustainable" and it must be resolved urgently, if we want to prevent the country from entering a tunnel with unpredictable results". This is the alarm raised by Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako.
In his speech, released on Monday 25 November through the official channels of the Chaldean Patriarchate, the Patriarch defined the demonstrations as "a peaceful popular movement, which has nothing to do with the considerations of parties and sects. These young people - added the Primate of the Chaldean Church - express their despair with respect to the political authority, because since 2003 from the authorities they have obtained nothing but speeches and promises, corruption, sectarian mentality and the private hoarding of the country's resources have spread over time".
In his pronouncement, the Patriarch invites political leaders to create a "crisis unit" to first stop the bloodshed of Iraqis, and then start building a strong State, "that safeguards its citizens with their rights and their dignity". With a quote full of suggestions, the Patriarch also recalled that in Iraq "the religious authority expressed his support for their requests in the sermon of Friday 15 November". A reference to the Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, who in his latest public intervention called on political authorities to act quickly to respond to the protesters' claims, judged legitimate by Iraq's top religious leader.
The affinity of gaze and judgment between the Patriarch and the Great Ayatollah is important in the context of the crisis, which many analysts also read as a clash between different areas and Shiite Islam forces in Iraq. In the clash between pro-Iranian Shiite formations and those wishing to distance themselves from Iran , Ayatollah al Sistani seems to want to to assume an intermediate position, determined to guarantee national unity and at the same time to meet the demands of reform and fight against endemic corruption supported by the protesters.


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