SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –A UN spokesman has said that investigators from the world body have started collecting evidence outside Syria on the suspected use of chemical weapons.
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, on Friday wrote to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a new request for access to investigators inside the war-torn country.
Last month, both the Syrian government and rebels accused each other of using chemical weapons in an attack on the village of Khan al-Assal outside the northern city of Aleppo.
Following the incident, the Syria government called for the UN to investigate alleged chemical weapons use by rebels.
Syria, however, has still not allowed a team of experts into the country because it wants the investigation limited to the single Khan al-Assal incident, while the UN chief is urging the Syrian government to accept an expanded UN probe.
Weapons inspectors will determine whether banned chemical agents were used in Syrian conflict only if they are able to access sites and take soil, blood, urine or tissue samples and examine them in certified laboratories, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which works with the UN on inspections.
Assertions of chemical-weapons use in Syria by Western and Israeli officials citing photos, sporadic shelling and traces of toxins do not meet the standard of proof needed for a UN team of experts waiting to gather their own field evidence, the organisation said.
For his part, US President Barack Obama gave warning to Syria that its use of chemical weapons would be a "game changer" for the US but made clear he was in no rush to intervene in the country's civil war on the basis of evidence he said was still preliminary.
Speaking a day after the disclosure of US intelligence that Syria had probably used chemical weapons against its own people, Obama talked tough while calling for patience as he sought to fend off pressure for a swift response against Assad.
"Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law," Obama said at the White House as he began talks with Jordan's King Abdullah on Friday.
"That is going to be a game changer," he said. But Obama stopped short of declaring that Assad had crossed "a red line" and described the US intelligence evaluations as "a preliminary assessment".
Obama said he and Abdullah agreed that Assad's regime "has lost legitimacy".
Separately, David Cameron, UK prime minister, said that the increasing evidence of chemical weapons use was unlikely to prompt a Western military intervention.
"It's limited evidence but there's growing evidence that we have seen too of the use of chemical weapons, probably by the regime," Cameron told the BBC.
Not 'airtight case'
US officials said the evaluation that Syria probably used chemical weapons was based in part on "physiological" samples, but have refused to say exactly where they came from or who supplied the material.
Jay Carney, White House spokesman, said the evidence so far of Syrian chemical weapons use was not an "airtight case" and declined to set a deadline for corroborating reports.
Carney said Obama would consider a range of options including, but not exclusive to, military force, should it be determined that Syria has used chemical weapons.
The Obama administration's sudden disclosure of its chemical weapons findings came just two days after it played down an Israeli assessment that there had been repeated use of chemical weapons in Syria.
France and Britain have also concluded that evidence suggests chemical arms have been used.
Two Syrian officials denied the US accusations on Friday, with a senior official saying the country did not, and would not, use chemical weapons even if it had them.
Sharif Shehadeh, a Syrian official, called the US claims "lies" and compared them to false accusations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the US-led invasion of that country.
On the other hand, the Syrian opposition urged the UN Security Council to take immediate steps, possibly even by imposing a no-fly zone.
"Should it find the regime used such weapons, it must act immediately, at least by imposing a no-fly zone," a spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition said. -www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – France’s defense minister has reaffirmed that the country will keep 1,000 troops in Mali to fight armed groups even after the arrival of more than 12,000 UN peacekeepers later this year.
A day after the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of the peacekeeping force, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited the city of Gao in northeastern Mali.
“From now on we are in the post-war phase. The UN resolution adopted yesterday will allow for the arrival of a force to stabilize the country,” Le Drian told reporters on Friday. “But France will keep about 1,000 soldiers to carry on with military operations.”
During his visit to Mali, Le Drian met Acting President Dioncounda Traoré and General Ibrahim Dahrou Dembele to discuss efforts underway to train the Malian military.
The new UN force will also incorporate 6,000 African Union troops already deployed in Mali -- a force recently called "completely incapable" by a US Defense Department official.
The UN force is tasked with helping to restore peace in the aftermath of a French-led military operation launched in January to dislodge local fighters who had seized control of the country’s vast north.
However, the UN peacekeepers will not be authorized to launch offensive military operations or chase fighters in the desert. Therefore, the French forces will continue to do that job, although France is planning to downscale its presence in its former colony by the end of the year.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –A U.N. special investigator has linked the Boston marathon bombings to the United States’ superpower status and Washington’s policy on Israel, the Associated Press has reported.
Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, wrote about the attacks in an April 21 commentary in Foreign Policy Journal that “the American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world.”
Falk also said “as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.”
He said President Barack Obama hasn’t adopted a “more balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel impasse.” Instead, Falk accused Obama of “succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel first.”
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said in response to reporters’ questions Wednesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rejects Falk’s comments, which could undermine the U.N.’s credibility and work. “The secretary-general immediately condemned the Boston marathon bombing and he strongly believes that nothing can justify such an attack,” Nesirky said.
Israel has barred Falk, who reports to the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, from visiting the Palestinian territories because he has compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with the horrors of Nazi Germany. He also is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.
FACTS & FIGURES
The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews. The Washington Post
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, do not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization. The Washington Post
Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week, killing at least three people. AP
The count of injured people of the Boston Marathon bombings who were treated in area hospitals has risen sharply to 282, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. That is far higher than the initial estimate of 170. Boston Globe. -www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A prominent UN expert says the recent bombings in the US city of Boston were a direct response to Washington's foreign policies around the world, specifically in the Middle East.
UN Human Rights Council’s Palestine monitor Richard Falk wrote in the online Foreign Policy Journal on April 21 that the Boston bombings were a direct result of Americans torturing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and of US drone attacks on innocent women and children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In the essay titled “A Commentary on the Marathon Murders,” Falk also blamed the United States’ one-sided support of Israel, at the expense of the Palestinians.
“As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy,” wrote Falk, who is also an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.
Falk described US President Barack Obama’s recent speech in al-Quds (Jerusalem) during his visit to the Middle East as a “love letter to the Israeli public” rather than a demonstration of his belief in peace.
The UN Human Rights Council official also noted that the US has been fortunate not to experience even worse consequences of its actions around the world.
"The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance... the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world,” the US academic added.
He pointed out that US politicians lack “the courage to connect some of these dots," noting that, "Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden's haunting line: 'Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return.'"
Falk’s comments drew an angry response from the United States.
Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for US mission to the United Nations, said in a statement on Tuesday that Falk’s comments on the bombings were “provocative and offensive.”
“The United States has previously called for Mr. Falk’s resignation for his numerous outrageous statements, and these comments underscore once more the absurdity of his service as a UN special rapporteur,” Pelton said.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said Falk’s comments are a blatant justification for “terrorism, insulting the memory of Boston’s dead and wounded, insulting the American people.”
Rice also said Falk should be dismissed from the world body.
On April 15, the twin bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 170.
Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the bombings, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.
Dzhokhar was wounded and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police on April 19.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Dzhokhar cited the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as major influences for his role in the bombings.
Experts argued that the pressure cooker-type bombs used in the bombings resembled weapons used by the US military, including antipersonnel land mines and internationally-banned cluster munitions, as bits of maiming steel are used to cause maximum widespread casualties and structural damage.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA-- United Nations investigators will examine soil samples collected by western intelligence agencies and enter Syrian refugee camps in an effort to assess claims that the Assad regime has used sarin gas against its opponents.
Proof of sarin use would increase pressure on the Obama administrationwhich, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is deeply reluctant to intervene in what could be another protracted and unwinnable conflict.
The White House has long claimed the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would represent a "red line", but has so far been reluctant to follow Britian, France and Israel, who claim to have evidence of chemical weapons use in Aleppo and Homs.
Syria has prevented the UN investigation from being carried out inside the country, but Jeffrey Feltman, UN under-secretary for political affairs, made it clear on Wednesday that refusal would not prevent an inquiry from being carried out.
"The secretary-general [Ban Ki-moon]'s position is that, at this time, the mission should investigate the allegations pertaining to incidents in Aleppo and Homs. While awaiting access to the Syrian territory, the experts of the mission are studying the information on the alleged incidents of the use of chemical weapons provided to them by member states," Feltman told the security council.
"They remain ready to deploy to Syria within 24 to 48 hours following the Syrian government's acceptance of the modality and the scope of the mission." He deliberately did not name the member countries but they include Britain, France and Israel.
It is understood that as well as visiting refugee camps and potentially taking hair and other biological samples from survivors of alleged chemical attacks, UN investigators will also analyse soil samples in the possession of British and French intelligence agencies.
British and French officials believe there is incontrovertible evidence that the Syrian government has used sarin nerve gas, though only on a small scale.
"There is no doubt that sarin has been used but we are not talking about Halabja," one Whitehall source said, referring to the 1988 gas attack by Saddam Hussein's forces against Iraqi Kurds, in which up to 5,000 were killed by a combination of Sarin, other nerve agents and mustard gas. "We are talking about use in small areas and small groups of people."
British officials are adamant that the source of the sarin was the government and that the exposure of Syrian army troops in the town of Khan al-Asal on March 19, as claimed by Damascus, was the result of "friendly fire", a government shell that had gone astray, rather than a rebel attack.
A French official said that it would be up to the UN investigators " to establish evidence that will allow to confirm the use of chemical weapons".
The official added: "we deplore that the regime is seeking to impose unacceptable conditions on the UN for the deployment of the team … If the regime does not come back on its decision, it will bear the entire responsibility of the team's failure. That would be a renewed proof of its duplicity."
The British and French claims, backed up publicly by an Israeli general, have opened a rift with the US, which has been far more cautious about its claims, privately questioning the strength of their allies' case.
On a visit to Egypt, the US defence secretary Chuck Hagel faced intensive questioning from American reporters. He denied that US credibility was at risk over Obama's failure to respond over chemical weapons, and played down the conclusions of British, French and Israeli intelligence.
He said: "Suspicions are one thing. Evidence is another ... And that's not at all questioning other nations' intelligence, but the United States relies on its own intelligence. So until I can see that intelligence, I really don't have anything else to say."
A group of Arab foreign ministers is due in Washington on Monday and are expected to meet the secretary of state, John Kerry. That meeting may prove crucial in formulating Washington's next step.
British officials argue the real difference between London and Paris on one side and Washington on the other is political rather than factual, as President Obama had previously taken the lead in making the use of chemical weapons a red line.
The stand-off with Syria has echoes of the run-up to the Iraq war. The Obama administration is desperate to avoid a repeat of that debacle, not least because of the way intelligence was discredited at that time, with no weapons of mass destruction found after the 2003 invasion.
Obama said last month that if it it was found that such weapons were used, the Assad regime would have crossed the red line. The White House has since rowed back, with the New York Times quoting aides saying he only meant major chemical weapons such as those used by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against the Kurds.
The Obama administration is seeking to make a distinction between lethal chemical weapons and ones that only have a temporary effect. But sarin, which attacks the nervous system, is lethal. The US intelligence assessment is that Syria has a stockpile of sarin, VX and mustard gas.
The UN investigations team is in Cyprus awaiting entry into Syria. Assad initially said the team would be allowed in but later blocked them.
A security council source said: "While we would like the investigation to go ahead in Syria ... we are hopeful that the investigation team will still be able to undertake elements of the investigation even without access to Syria. This could include conducting interviews in refugee camps."
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was quoted by the Russian news agency Novosti warning that its ally Syria should not face a repetition of "Iraq scenario".
Tony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the White House's reluctance to become involved was understandable. "It is far easier to talk about reacting to Syria's possible use of chemical weapons than do something meaningful. First, there needs to be firm evidence. The US cannot commit an act of war on the basis of outside claims or 'evidence' that is suspect and may be politically motivated – particularly after invading Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist."
Cordesman said an attack on Syrian targets would represent a serious escalation. "It would take a massive ground intervention to seize and destroy Syria's stocks of chemical weapons, if they have not been partially dispersed to the point where such a mission is impossible. This means fighting the way in, fighting long enough seize and destroy the weapons, and fighting on the way out."
But analysts question the wisdom of western governments laying down public ultimatums about the use of chemical weapons. Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, said: "The downside is that it implicitly signals to the Syrian government that anything below that line is not unacceptable."
Security officials also caution that it is not clear what western forces could do even if the use of chemical weapons was proved or found to be imminent. Bombing Assad's chemical arsenal would disperse the chemicals and nerve agents with potentially disastrous consequences, while any special forces deployed to seize and secure such weapons would immediately become stationary targets for Islamist groups now fighting with the rebels.
"My immediate reaction is to urge caution," said Dina Esfandiari of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. "If these claims are based on photographs and soil samples taken some time after the alleged attacks, I don't see how could you possibly be sure. And without definite proof how can you assert that it is the regime and not the other side?"
Andrew Tabler, a Syria specialist at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy and author In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria, warned that the longer the Obama administration delays in enforcing its red line, the worse it will be later. "I think in the end we will be drawn into this conflict and it will be ten times more expensive than now. Everything will be worse," he said.
"The Obama administration is demanding a lot of direct evidence before it reacts. It just shows the reluctance of the Obama administration to enforce its red line. The Assad regime is pushing and testing the US and the US is not reacting, except verbally," Tabler said.
He predicted the country would disintegrate into three pieces, with terrorists potentially active in all three. "That would be a policy failure by any stretch of the imagination," he said.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - An independent United Nations expert today urged the Government of Bahrain to honour its international commitments and allow him in to assess whether torture and ill-treatment are taking place in the country, after repeated postponements of planned visits.
“This is the second time that my visit has been postponed, at very short notice. It is effectively a cancellation as no alternative dates were proposed nor is there a future road map to discuss,” UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez stressed in a news release.
Mr. Méndez added that he is “deeply disappointed” with the decision to cancel the 8 to 15 May trip which was organized “in the spirit of cooperation” and expressed his compassion with the people of Bahrain who had expected the visit.
The Government’s decision comes after yet another week of continued clashes between demonstrators and security forces and the release of several reports criticizing what they call Bahrain’s failure to hold senior officials accountable for torture since 2011.
In a letter handed to the Special Rapporteur on 22 April, during a meeting in Washington DC, the Government said that the ongoing National Dialogue has unexpectedly taken much longer than envisaged and that a visit could be immensely damaging to the chances of the Dialogue’s success.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued to the media, the Government claimed that Mr. Méndez “put off” the visit.
In response, Mr. Méndez said that the decision to postpone the visit was solely that of the Government, “this was a unilateral decision by the authorities. Unfortunately, it is not the first time the Government has tried to avoid responsibility for the postponement of my visit, which was originally supposed to take place over a year ago.”
He added that that an independent assessment of whether torture and ill-treatment indeed continues despite reforms, and whether obligations towards the rehabilitation of victims have been met “could have contributed to the National Dialogue and strengthened a culture of human rights.”
Mr. Méndez urged the authorities to honour their commitments made to the UN Universal Periodic Review process in September 2012, among which was the acceptance of a recommendation to welcome a visit by the mandated expert on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
“I will continue to engage with the Government by considering violations submitted to my mandate and by closely monitoring the situation of torture and ill-treatment, including the right of rehabilitation for victims in Bahrain,” he stressed.
Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
source : UN NEWS CENTRE
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - The Bahraini government has postponed indefinitely a visit by Juan Mendez the UN special rapporteur on torture.
According to the country's official news agency the trip has been called off "until further notice".
This comes just days after the release of a US State Department report on human rights in Bahrain which spoke of "significant" violations including torture in detention.
The Gulf kingdom has been wracked by civil unrest for two years.
The violence has left at least 50 people dead.
An independent enquiry established by King Hamad al-Khalifa in 2011 found that there had been numerous abuses. The king accepted the report and promised accountability and reform.
But human rights organisations in Bahrain and outside the country say that the promised reforms are happening either too slowly or not at all. And they allege that human rights abuses are continuing.
The US State Department Bahrain 2012 Human Rights Report spoke of "serious human rights problems," including "citizens' inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention; and lack of due process in trials of political and human rights activists".
However the kingdom's foreign ministry said the report "lacks objectivity and impartiality and has overlooked Bahrain's progress in protecting and promoting human rights".
Mr Mendez had originally intended to visit Bahrain in 2012 but that too was called off. Pointing to this second postponement Brian Dooley of US based Human Rights First called the decision "a huge blow to the credibility of Bahrain's reform process".
"It seems like the Bahrain regime is frightened of what more international scrutiny might reveal. It's very telling that they've shut Mendez out again," said Mr Dooley.
A spokesperson in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) described the decision as "disappointing" and noted that Alistair Burt, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State had raised the issue with the Bahraini government "stressing the importance we and the international community place on the visit".
The FCO said: "We hope that a new date for this visit can be found soon."
writer : By Bill Law
source : BBC
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The Bahraini government has rejected a request by a high-ranking United Nations official to investigate claims that pro-democracy demonstrators have been tortured.
On Tuesday, Manama announced that it has postponed indefinitely the trip by UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez "until further notice."
The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.
The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.
Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries.
A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.
Bahrainis say they will continue holding demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. -www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Praising the swift and dedicated work of law enforcement officials to identify the perpetrators of Boston marathon bombing, a leading US Muslim organization has rejected the ‘heinous’ attacks as contradicting with Islam and all faiths.
“While we do not yet know the motivation for these heinous attacks, people of all faiths know that the horrific acts committed by these perpetrators go against everything to which God calls us,” Imam Mohamed Magidb, the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Friday, April 19.
“It is rather the loving, selfless acts of those who immediately responded on the scene that best uphold His teachings.”
“At times like this, I am reminded by a verse from the Holy Qur’an which is similar to one in the Old Testament: if anyone kills a person, it is as if he kills all humanity, while if any saves a life, it is as if he saves the lives of all humanity.”
Twin bombings rocked Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, killing at least three people and injured scores.
Late on Thursday, the FBI has released several images of two men they were hunting in relation to the bombing.
Suspects include Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, said to be 19 and of Chechen origin, after he escaped a shootout with police in which a second suspect, named in the US media as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed.
Heavily armed police started a house by house search, urging residents of Watertown and surrounding areas, including the whole of Boston, to stay indoors.
On Friday afternoon, Col Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police said officers in Watertown were searching "door to door, street to street" for the suspect, but there was as yet no word on his whereabouts.
"Things change, they change quickly," the officer said, adding: "We are working on several new leads that have just developed in the last few minutes."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said there were "continuing developments" in the investigation, and that an order to stay indoors remained in place across the whole of Boston and surrounding suburbs.
As two brothers of Chechen origin were named as suspects of staging the Boston bombings, their father accused FBI of setting up his children because they are Muslims.
“In my opinion, my children were set up by the secret services because they are practicing Muslims,” Anzor Tsarnaev told the Interfax news agency from the North Caucasus Russian city of Makhachkala.
“Why did they kill Tamerlan? They should have taken him alive," said the father.
The father insisted that his sons were innocent, but said he would appeal to his son to "surrender peacefully."
"Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia," the dad said.
The father warned, however, "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."
"If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame," the father told ABC News.
"Someone, some organization is out to get them."
Friends of his younger son, Dzhokhar, confirmed that the young man was smart and studious.
"He never seemed out of the ordinary at all," high school classmate Sierra Schwartz told "Good Morning America" today.
"This is not someone who seemed troubled in high school or shy. He was just one of us. It's very weird."
Steven Owens told ABC News, "I met him when I was in seventh grade and he was just a great kid. He was fun to be around. Very studious, very smart.”
“I don't remember a time when he was ever having trouble in school. He was a great athlete. Great to be around," he added.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to from 7-8 million Muslims.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: On Islam
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Martin Kobler, UN special envoy to Iraq met with grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Sistani, senior Iraqi Shia leader and said the UN supports the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS), first Shia Imam and cousin of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to be registered in UNESCO World Heritage list.
Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy to Iraq referred to his different feelings in his visits to the holy city of Najaf and hailed the reconstruction projects around the Shia holy shrine.
He said the place has to be protected and honored by world communities and vowed to support the necessary measures for the holy place to join World Heritage list soon.
The UN representative and Ayatollah Sistani are said to have agreed on resolving the crisis in the country through dialogue and away from sectarian approach in political discourse.
An informed source revealed, Kobler visited Imam Ali shrine before heading meet with the al-Sistani.-www.shafaqna.com/English