Iraqi religious leaders propose dialogues for Iraq's reconstruction

Six Iraqi religious leaders now visiting Japan called on different religious groups and countries to develop dialogues as part of the effort to reconstruct Iraq and establish peace in the country.

They were representatives of Sunnis, Shiites, Catholics, and the Kurdish community, participating in the symposium held on July 22 in Kyoto by the World Conference on Religion and Peace and its Japanese committee to discuss ways to achieve peace in Iraq and the role religion can play in the process.

Pointing out that a major obstacle to reconstructing Iraq is misunderstandings between different religious groups, Shiite representative Seyed Hassan Bahralulom stressed the need for them to have cross-religious dialogues.

In a 7-point joint statement published on that day, the Iraqi religious leaders expressed their commitment "to working together for the treatment of injured Iraqi children, without regard to their religious, sectarian or ethnic identity."

The statement also said, "We religious leaders reject all acts of violence, hostage taking and destruction that has taken and is still taking place in Iraq."

The Six religious representatives include Sunni leader Abdul Salam Al-Kubeisy who made efforts for the successful release of three Japanese hostages held in Iraq in April. (end)

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