Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has reportedly met with powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Beirut in an effort to resolve the inter-Shiite conflict in the Arab country, al-Mustaqbal daily reported on Friday.
The Lebanon-based newspaper quoted informed sources in Beirut and Baghdad as saying that al-Sadr met with Nasrallah in Beirut’s southern suburbs. The discussions focused on Iraq’s political crisis, they said. According to the sources, Nasrallah is seeking reconciliation between Sadr and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
An emergency session of Iraq’s parliament descended into chaos on Wednesday, preventing a vote on a new cabinet amid a row over political blocs controlling key government posts.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called in February for change to the cabinet so that it includes technocrats. That kicked off the latest chapter in a months-long saga of al-Abadi proposing various reforms that parties and politicians with interests in the existing system, mainly al-Maliki’s supporters, have sought to delay or undermine.
Al-Sadr later took up the demand for a technocratic government, organizing a two-week sit-in that put al-Abadi under pressure to act, but also supported the course of action he wanted to take.
Sadr relented after al-Abadi presented his first list of nominees at the end of March, but has yet to react to the most recent developments in efforts to replace the cabinet.
Al-Sadr’s visit to Beirut coincided with the visit of Jawad al-Shahristani, the official representative of Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Orient Net Syrian channel quoted political sources in Beirut as saying that a meeting is expected to be held between Nasrallah, al-Sadr, al-Shahristani, an envoy from Maliki and other top officials to bridge the gap between Shiite politicians in Iraq.
The sources said Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tasked Nasrallah with carrying out the reconciliation.