DUBAI (Reuters) - The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Iraq, reacting to a reported request by Baghdad that Riyadh withdraw him, told Al Arabiyah television on Sunday that the kingdom’s policies on Iraq would not change, and Saudi ties with Iraqi politicians were amicable.
“Frankly I tried to fulfill my duties ... Saudi Arabia’s policies in Iraq will not change,” Thamer al-Sabhan told the Saudi-owned station. “We have a very amicable relationship with Iraqi politicians that the media does not capture.”
“This is not personal issue. What I said to media and to all Iraqi politicians in the past is that they are limited because they are under pressure from various sides and from other armies and political advisors.”
Iraqi Shi’ite politicians have made persistent requests that Sabhan be expelled in reaction to comments he has made about Iran’s involvement in Iraq and claims that Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias were exacerbating tensions with Sunnis.
Reporting by Celine Aswad and Hadeel al Sayegh, Writing by William Maclean