Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.

English translation of the statement from the office of His Eminence Ayatullah Seestani (long may he live) regarding Mr. Nouri Al- Maleki’s meeting with His Eminence.

By His Name, The Most High

His Eminence, Sayyid Seestani (long may he live) met with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr. Nouri Al- Maleki and the accompanying delegation before noon today. The PM informed HE of the current situation and the challenges faced by the government, including the implementation of future plans in various fields.

In his discussion HE concentrated on the aspects that directly affect peoples’ lives as well as security and public services. Regarding security, HE pointed out some deficient and problematic areas with previous security plans, emphasizing on the need to build an Iraqi military and security force on firm national grounds, comprising of qualified and suitable elements and by providing them with the required technology in addition to developing a plan to gather all illegal weapons.

HE said when the government is not doing its duty in providing security and order to protect the lives of its citizens then this will pave the way for other forces to do the job, which is very dangerous.

Regarding public services, HE expressed his sheer anguish at what the citizens have to endure from severe shortages in a number of basic services, which the government should have made it their utmost priority to provide– including electricity and fuel. HE demanded that no effort should be spared in this regard to alleviate the suffering of the people.

HE spoke about administrative corruption and the exploitation of power, stressing the need to tackle this cancerous disease that wastes several of the country’s resources and emphasizing on the need to empower the law to pursue those responsible with swift penalties.

During his meeting HE talked about the path those in authority should aspire to follow: “The citizens expect, and rightly so, to see members of the Council of Representatives be with them in their suffering and share their tribulations in life, in comparison with Imam Ali (a.s.) who used to say ‘ Will I be content on hearing I am the Commander of The Faithful without sharing life’s hateful things [with them] or be an example for them in the harshness of existence?’.

HE also mentioned the vast difference that exist in the wages scale, where some enjoy big wages whilst others on the whole do not earn enough to pay for a decent living, emphasizing on the need to address this problem in order to ensure social equality.

Concerning the political situation, HE praised the PM’s national reconciliation initiative whilst stressing the need to activate it on the basis of justice, fairness and the renunciation of violence motivated by political gains, respect for people’s will as represented in the permanent constitution of the country and the election results that culminated in the formation of the current national government.

Finally, the meeting ended with HE wishing the PM and all those in authority success in accomplishing their duties.

Seal of The Office of Ayatullah Seestani (long may he live) – Najaf
8 Sha’ban 1427
2 September 2006