وصف قادة سياسيون وزعماء دين عراقيون وممثلون عن الزعيم الشيعي مقتدى الصدر زيارة وفد التفاوض إلى النجف بأنها خطوة إيجابية. وبالرغم من أن الوفد لم يلتق مع مقتدى الصدر شخصيا، إلا أن أحد الاعضاء في وفد التفاوض صرح بأنهم سيعودون إلى النجف قريبا.
At first, Moqtada al-Sadr said he couldn't meet the delegation
as they were mere messengers
rather than legitimate negotiators. Later, he revised his position
and said the reason why he couldn't meet the delegates was to do with security concerns.
It was a high-risk venture for the team of six sent from the capital; their plans to travel by road from Baghdad were quashed by an ambush threat. Ultimately, they were brought to Najaf by a US military helicopter. They then drove quickly through the streets of the old city to reach the Imam Ali shrine. Exchanges of mortar fire could be heard and American helicopters and an A10 war plane targeted Mehdi army positions, even as the delegates were inside.
Participants at Iraq's national conference will be encouraged that their delegation made the journey to Najaf successfully, even if they failed to meet Moqtada al-Sadr himself. The cleric remains in a strong position, with Shia Islam's holiest site under the rule of his militia and US-led forces reluctant to cause any damage to the sacred city, aware of the negative repercussions that would likely prompt.
The delegates brought with them an ambitious list, requesting that the militia be disbanded and leave the shrine, with a promise of political legitimacy for Moqtada al-Sadr if he cooperates. There's no sign of that happening. But the sheer fact that another avenue for dialogue has now been opened will help the residents of Najaf's old city to hope that the fighting might soon be over.
Kylie Morris, BBC, Najaf
مجرد مبلغي رسالة
revised his position
المعنى الحرفي: دمرت أما المعنى المقصود: استبعدت
المعنى الحرفي: تبدأ، المعنى المقصود: تحدث
an ambitious list
حلت أو فككت
another avenue for dialogue
وسيلة أخرى للحوار