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Sistani urges all Iraqis to help in draft

July 27, 2005 at 9:58 AM

BAGHDAD, July 27 (UPI) -- Iraq's highest Shiite religious authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged all Iraqi factions to participate in drafting Iraq's new constitution.

Speaking after a meeting with Sistani in Najaf Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi said "the ayatollah called on all Iraqi groups to take effective part in drafting the constitution in order to achieve true national reconciliation."

"Discussions with Ayatollah Sistani focused on matters that concern the Iraqi people especially the new constitution which should be the basis for national reconciliation and unity," Chalabi said.

Sistani's remarks coincided with the return of Sunni members of the drafting community to work after ending a 2-week boycott upon the government's acceptance to meet their conditions, including conducting a probe into the slaying of two Sunni members in Baghdad earlier this month.

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