Bahrain summons Iraqi diplomat over criticism from ex-PM Maliki

Nuri al-Maliki attends a parliament session to aprrove the new government in Baghdad on September 8, 2014. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 December 2018
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Bahrain summons Iraqi diplomat over criticism from ex-PM Maliki

  • Maliki attended a meeting organized by the February 14 movement, designated a terrorist group by Manama
  • Bahrain described Maliki’s statements as “blatant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain”

DUBAI: Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d’affaires of the embassy of Iraq on Monday to denounce footage of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki criticizing Manama’s crackdown on the Shiite opposition.

Maliki who now heads an Iraqi coalition called “the State of Law,” attended a meeting last week organized by the February 14 movement, a Bahraini activist group which Manama designated a terrorist group in 2014.

“Discrimination, marginalization ... have reached a severe limit on the people of Bahrain,” Al-Maliki said according to videos from the event published by Iraqi media.

He was quoted as urging dialogue with those “demanding freedom and justice” to protect Bahrain and Bahrain’s people, Sunnis and Shiites.

Bahrain described Maliki’s statements as “blatant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain,” state news agency (BNA) reported.

“(A Bahraini official) described Maliki’s attitude as a clear solidarity with those who seek to spread chaos, violence and terrorism and exhibit hatred,” BNA said.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment but it was expected to issue a statement.


Thousands of Algerians protest against Bouteflika’s re-election bid

Updated 37 min 47 sec ago
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Thousands of Algerians protest against Bouteflika’s re-election bid

ALGIERS: Thousands of young Algerians took to the streets of the capital on Friday to protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s plans to seek a fifth term and police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.
The 81-year old, in office since 1999, has said he will contest the April 18 presidential election, despite concerns over his health. He has been seen in public only a handful of times since suffering a stroke in 2013.
“No to Bouteflika and no to Said,” a crowed chanted while marching through the center of Algiers. The president’s youngest brother Said Bouteflika is a presidential adviser.
Reuters journalists filmed tear gas being fired over a crowd that ran to escape.
“We and the security are brothers,” some protesters chanted.
The protest came after mosque preachers had warned in Friday prayers against demonstrating, warning of violence.
Bouteflika’s re-election bid comes after the ruling FLN party picked him as its official presidential candidate. Several political parties, trade unions and business organizations have already said they would support his re-election.
He is expected to easily win the vote as the opposition remains weak and divided.
But many young people feel disconnected from an elite made up of veteran fighters from Algeria’s 1954-1962 independence war with France.
His re-election would provide short-term stability for the FLN, the army and business tycoons, and postpone a potentially difficult succession.
Bouteflika remains popular with many Algerians, who credit him with ending a long civil war by offering an amnesty to former extremist fighters.
Algeria is a key gas supplier to Europe and an ally of the United States in the fight against Islamist militants in the Sahel region of North Africa.