Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Iraq receives Saudi Arabia’s envoy credentials despite anti-Riyadh anger

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari received the new Saudi ambassador’s credentials despite calls for his expulsion after Riyadh executed a leading Shiite cleric. Thamer al-Sabhan is the first Baghdad-based Saudi ambassador in a quarter century, after relations were cut following ex-president Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Jaafari’s office said he met with Sabhan and discussed Iraqi-Saudi relations and Baghdad’s efforts to ease tensions between Riyadh and Tehran that exploded following the kingdom’s execution of Nimr al-Nimr. Thousands of people, including fighters from powerful Shiite paramilitary forces, have protested in Iraq against Saudi Arabia, and called for Sabhan to be expelled from the Shiite-majority country.



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