Iraq asks Saudi to replace its ambassador in Baghdad

Cheryl Sanders
August 29, 2016

Iraq says it has requested Saudi Arabia to replace its ambassador in Baghdad.

Thamer al-Sabhan is the first Saudi ambassador who was appointed in Iraq in December a year ago when the Kindgon reopened its embassy in Riyadh.

"The Foreign Ministry has asked its Saudi counterpart to replace the Saudi ambassador in Baghdad", ministry spokesman Ahmed Gamal said in a statement.

The Iraqi foreign ministry denied on Monday that a plot to kill the envoy had been uncovered.

The request by Baghdad's Shiite-led government on Sunday underscores the depth of enmity between Sunni and Shiite regional powers as sectarian conflicts rage in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

Jamal further dismissed as "inaccurate" allegations that fighters from pro-government Popular Mobilization Units have devised plots to murder the Saudi envoy, saying such claims are only meant to damage relations between Baghdad and Riyadh.

However, Jamal said Iraqi security personnel under the Baghdad Operations Command are protecting all diplomatic missions and embassies in Baghdad and there were no reports of any threats to the Saudi ambassador, Press TV reported.

The move came a week after al-Sabhan accused Iran-affiliated Iraqi Shia militias of plotting to assassinate him. "Saudi Arabia's policies in Iraq will not change", Al-Sabhan told the Saudi-owned station.

The spokesperson said that the Saudi ambassador made certain remarks regarding Iran's involvement in the country's affairs which were in contrast with the facts, causing outrage amongst the people of Iraq and forcing them to demand the Saudi ambassador's replacement.

Other reports by iNewsToday