BAGHDAD - Iraq's anti-US Shi'ite cleric has launched an initiative calling for peaceful coexistence among all Iraqis after the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militiamen were blamed for sectarian killings during the worst years of Iraq's violence, is seeking to assert his political weight in post-US troops Iraq.
The initiative comes as a government crisis has strained ties between two main Muslim sects, Sunnis and Shi'ites to the breaking point.
The Shi'ite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki is engaged in a showdown with the top Sunni political leader in the country.
His government has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi for what al-Hashemi says are trumped-up charges that he ran hit squads against government officials.
Al-Sadr's proposal comes just two days after a terrifying wave of Baghdad bombings killed 69 people and wounded nearly 200.