Why did Iraq ask Riyadh to change its Ambassador?

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

A new crisis between Iraq and Saudi Arabia has emerged over Riyadh’s ambassador to Baghdad Thamer al-Sabhan amid calls by the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (pictured) to replace him.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal said Aug. 28, “Saudi Ambassador Thamer al-Sabhan made several media statements that went beyond the bounds of diplomatic protocol and functions of any ambassador. Therefore, we believe that Sabhan is impeding the development of the bilateral relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.”

He added, “The Iraqi government sent a request to the Saudi government to replace current Saudi Ambassador Thamer al-Sabhan.”

Sabhan is the first Saudi ambassador to Iraq after a break of 25 years that followed the Iraqi army’s entry into Kuwait in 1990. This crisis will create a bad relationship between the two countries, knowing that a diplomatic reconciliation was brought about over a year ago between the two countries as Sabhan was appointed as the first ambassador to Saudi Arabia on June 2, 2015.

While forecasts indicated the possibility of a new diplomatic atmosphere between the two neighboring countries, the results proved otherwise.

While Jamal chose not to respond to Al-Monitor, Saad al-Hadithi, the Iraqi government spokesman, commented that this is part of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s tasks.

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