Monday, May 30, 2005

Shiites, Sunnis Forge Peace Links

Two of Iraq's most influential Shiite and Sunni organizations have agreed to try to ease sectarian tensions. The new peace effort came as attacks killed two U.S. troops and at least 70 Iraqis since Friday.

"We are all Muslims, and usually problems happen between one family. We want to solve them on the basis of Islamic brotherhood," said one Sunni official, Isam Al Rawi.

In an effort to mitigate escalating sectarian tensions, officials from the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, considered close to some insurgent groups, met with representatives from the Badr Brigades — the military wing of Iraq's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

"We overcame many obstacles. The two parties agreed to serving Iraq and to preserve its unity," al-Sadr official Abdul Hadi Al Daraji said. He said another meeting would be held during the week and a national gathering would be called once the crisis between the two organizations was resolved.


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