Shiite Leader Makes Rare Visit to Al-Anbar to Unite With Sunnis

“Iraq does not belong to the Sunnis or the Shiites alone; nor does it belong to the Arabs or the Kurds and Turkomen. Today, we must stand up and declare that Iraq is for all Iraqis. We stand together in one trench to defeat Iraq’s enemies.”

Shiite leader Ammar al-Hakim
with Sunni leader Ahmed Abu Risha
Al-Anbar Province
October, 14, 2007

Shiite politician Ammar al-Hakim, whose father is suffering with cancer, joined today in al-Anbar with Sunni leader Ahmed Abu Risha, whose brother was assassinated by Al Qaeda.

Ammar al-Hakim, the son of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council, left, Iraq’s largest Shiite party and Sunni sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, leader of the US-backed anti al-Qaida revolt in Anbar, embrace during their meeting in Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007. The visit by Ammar al-Hakim provided the latest evidence that key Iraqi politicians were working toward national reconciliation independently from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Voice of America has more on the historic meeting today.

A senior member of Iraq’s largest Shi’ite party met with Sunni tribal sheikhs on Sunday, in a rare visit to the Sunni stronghold of Anbar province.

Shi’ite Ammar al-Hakim held talks with Sunni coalition leader Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha and other sheikhs. Observers say the visit demonstrated a desire to promote unity and overcome sectarian divisions.

Hakim is preparing to take over leadership of the Supreme Islamic Iraq Council from his father, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim. The elder Hakim was diagnosed with cancer in May.


Ammar al-Hakim, the son of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council, left, Iraq’s largest Shiite party and Sunni sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, leader of the US-backed anti al Qaida revolt in Anbar, walk after their meeting in Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007. (AP)

Senior Iraqi Shi’ite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim was too ill to lead Eid al-Fitr prayers at his Baghdad home on Saturday.

Last week, Shiite leaders in Najaf Province announced that a school has been named to honor recently murdered Sunni tribal leader Ahmed Abu Risha in the Selam district in Najaf City.

MORE… Funny, the democrats just this week released this statement attacking presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

Romney’s ill-informed and dangerously oversimplified outline of the threat is “misleading” and completely ignores the reality on the ground in Iraq and in the Muslim world, including the facts that Shias and Sunnis are “fighting a civil war in Iraq” and many of the groups Romney typically cites “have not targeted the United States.”

It’s strange how Democrats continue to hang on to that inaccurate “civil war” statement.
But, they do.

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