November 11, 2019 / 10:59 AM / 3 months ago

Iraq's Sistani supports reform, concerned politicians not serious enough - U.N. representative

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of the Al Sairun Party, which is backed by the Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, hold a poster of Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, while attending a campaign rally, ahead of the parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - The senior UN representative in Iraq, Jeaine Hennis-Plasschaert, said on Monday that the country’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani had made it clear to her that he supports the enactment of serious reforms over a reasonable time period.

Sistani, however, expressed concerns that Iraq’s political elite were not serious enough about enacting reforms, Hennis-Plasschaert, who is the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, said.

Protesters on the street “could not go home without sufficient results”, she said in a news conference after meeting the cleric in the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf.

Reporting by Ahmed Saeed; Writing Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Alex Richardson

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