The Iraqi foreign ministry has confirmed the federal government has summoned the Saudi ambassador over his criticism of the Iraqi popular committees fighting terrorist groups across the country.
“These statements have breached diplomatic protocol and is based on inaccurate information,” the ministry said in a statement about Saudi ambassador Thamer al-Sabhan’s remarks.
The Saudi ambassador stated that Hashid Sha’abi should refrain from fighting the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) Levant’ (ISIL).
He added that Hashid Sha’abi should leave the fighting to the Iraqi army and official security forces in order to avoid aggravating sectarian tensions.
“The Hashid Shaabi are fighting terrorism and defending the country’s sovereignty and acting under the umbrella and command of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” the statement said, referring to the Popular Volunteer Forces.
“He [the Saudi ambassador] is supposed to find the commons that strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, which Iraq is keen on strengthening and consolidating in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, and in order to serve the interests of the two brotherly peoples,” the statement added.