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Arab League Chief Says He Has Al-Sistani Support

Amr Musa (CTK) 22 October 2005 -- Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa said today after talks with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani that Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric is supporting his efforts to foster national dialogue and ease sectarian tension in the country.

Musa said after the meeting in Al-Najaf that the two men had discussed "Iraq's Arab dimension, its unity, and all its negative aspects." Musa said their talks ended with al-Sistani giving him his "blessing and support."

There were no immediate comments from al-Sistani.

The meeting came on the third and final day of Musa's first visit to Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. He had said he would use the visit to build support for a national conference on Iraq that he is proposing to take place in Cairo sometime in November.