RealNews

Aide: Al-Sadr ready to negotiate in Najaf

Shortly after Iraq’s interim government threatened Muqtada al-Sadr’s militiamen to leave a Najaf mosque, an al-Sadr aide said Tuesday that the cleric is ready to negotiate a cease-fire and end the standoff. “We want a stop to this bloodshed in the city of Najaf,” said the aide, Sheikh Ali Smaisem. “We will negotiate with the same delegation from the [Iraqi] National Conference, and we want them to bring a representative from the government.” Smaisem was referring to a delegation of eight Iraqi dignitaries who visited Najaf last week and were unable to broker a peaceful end to the crisis. U.S. and Iraqi forces have been fighting the militia for nearly three weeks. Full Story

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