Najaf, IraqGrand Ayatullah, Sayyid Ali al-Sistani received the special representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš in the holy city of Najaf. The visit came as the Government of Iraq declared victory against the terrorist Daesh (ISIS) forces in Iraq.

Speaking to members of the press after his visit, Mr. Kubiš remarked, “I am extremely honored that I was once again received by His Eminence Grand Ayatullah Ali Al-Sistani. It is a great honor 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.”

As per the official UN press release “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.”

Ayatullah al-Sistani is largely credited for his role in saving Iraq from the Daesh terrorists after issuing a religious edict (fatwa) in June of 2014, where he called on all Iraqi citizens to defend their country. Foremost in acknowledging this role was Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, who in a statement offered his “deep thanks” to Ayatullah Sistani. He went on to affirm “his great and continuing support to the heroic fighters.” Prime Minister Abadi stressed that the 2014 proclamation by His Eminence “saved Iraq and paved the way for victory” over Daesh.

For a complete copy of the United Nations press release, click here.