Reuters reports that Iraq summoned the new Saudi ambassador, Thamer al-Sabhan, on Sunday after he suggested Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias were exacerbating sectarian tensions and should leave the fight against Islamic State to the Iraqi army and official security forces.
Iraq’s foreign ministry called the remarks “a break of diplomatic protocol and based on inaccurate information“.
Saudi Arabia has re-opened its embassy in Baghdad last month, 25 years after relations were broken over Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
In a separate meeting (pictured), Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ibrahim Al-Jaafari met his Saudi counterpart Mr Adel al-Jubeir to discuss issues of mutual concern, including the statements of the Saudi Ambassador; according to statement from Al-Jaafari’s office:
“… both sides rejected the statements of the Ambassador, pointing out that the statements shall not serve promoting mutual relations between the two countries and must be avoided in the future.
“The Saudi Foreign Minister indicated that these remarks do not reflect the official position of the Saudi Government towards Iraq”.