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Pope Francis visits Al-Sistani in Iraq

BAGHDAD, March 6 (KUNA) -- The Vatican Pope Francis visited, Saturday, the religious Iraqi Leader Ali Al-Sistani at his home in the old Najaf city, south of the capital Baghdad.
The official Iraqi satellite channel transmitted the Pope's arrival at Al-Sistani's house and broadcasted his departure as well without revealing the details of the dialogue that took place between them during the meeting, which is the first of its kind.
However, after the meeting, Al-Sistani's office issued a statement indicating that the two parties discussed the great challenges facing humanity in this era and commitment to high moral values.
The statement quoted Al-Sistani speaking about injustice, oppression, poverty, religious and intellectual persecution, suppression of basic freedoms and the absence of social justice, wars, violence, economic blockade and displacement that many peoples of the region suffer from, especially the Palestinians.
He stressed the importance of the role played by the religious and spiritual leaders in reducing these tragedies, urging the great powers to give priority to reject wars.
During the meeting, Al-Sistani talked about the status of Iraq, its history and its people with all its affiliations, expressing hope that it will overcome the current situation soon, assuring that the Christian citizens live like all Iraqis in peace and security with full constitutional rights.
Al-Sistani wished the Pope, the followers of the Catholic Church, and all humanity good and happiness, and thanked him for taking the trouble to travel to Najaf.
According to the official visit program -- distributed by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, the Pope will travel to the ancient city of Ur in Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq, where what is believed to be the ruins of the home of the Prophet Ibrahim. (end) aah.nhq