The Ambassador of Italy to Iraq, Maurizio Greganti, went on a mission to the governorates of Najaf and Karbala, cultural and religious centres of the country that host important places of worship for Shiite Muslims from all over the world. The Ambassador held meetings with local authorities and leading religious authorities.
The Ambassador began his mission in the Najaf Governorate where he met with the governor, Majid Al Waely, to discuss development prospects in the region. A number of infrastructural projects, as well as economic and demographic development projects, were discussed during the meeting, held in a Governorate that represents a key religious, cultural and historical pillar both nationally and internationally, and has a steadily increasing tourism.
The Ambassador then visited the Mausoleum of Imam Ali in Najaf, where he spoke with some of the country’s leading religious authorities, including Ayatollah Bashir Al Najafi, Sayed Mohammed Ali Bahraloloum and Sayed Jawad Al Khoei, to underline the importance of supporting interreligious dialogue, mutual respect and mutual understanding as key factors in ensuring peace and stability in the country.
Ambassador Greganti then continued his visit to the Great Mosque of Kufa and the Al Imara Palace, two of the most important archaeological sites in Iraq. Here the Ambassador admired the place of worship where the archaeological mission of Professor Michelina Di Cesare at the ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome, the director of activities, is working. While describing the marvellous site – one of the first mosques built in the world, dating back to around 650 AD, and the destination of numerous pilgrimages to the site where Imam Ali is said to have been shot to death – Professor Di Cesare was able to show the Ambassador the remains of the perimeter walls from the early stages of construction of the mosque and palace.
Ambassador Greganti’s mission continued in the Karbala Governorate, another important cultural and religious centre in the country. During his meeting with Governor Nasif Jasim Al Khattabi, the Italian Ambassador stressed the importance of developing the region, especially through cooperation in the economic and security fields. Ambassador Greganti then went to the mausoleums of Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas, where he was able to meet with the heads of the respective charitable foundations and admire the crucial humanitarian work they carry out in favour of the most vulnerable members of the population, also thanks to the contribution of many Italian companies.
At the end of his visit, the Ambassador was able to hold talks with Sheikh Abdulmahdi Al Karbalay, representative of the highest Iraqi Shiite Authority Ayatollah Al Sistani. Both agreed on the need for targeted and active support to the most fragile sectors of the Iraqi population, and reaffirmed Italy’s commitment to promote dialogue between religions, to defend freedom of religion and worship, and to protect minorities all over the world.