KSA ambassador: ’We are exposed to threats but Iraq refuses to boost security’

Thamer Al-Sabhan
Updated 14 July 2016
0

KSA ambassador: ’We are exposed to threats but Iraq refuses to boost security’

BAGHDAD: Thamer Al-Sabhan, Saudi ambassador to Iraq, said the Iraqi government is not responding to the embassy’s requests to provide its personnel with armored vehicles and other equipment to protect the staff of the diplomatic mission.
Al-Sabhan blamed the delay of more than six months on several political groups with agendas, and said that the threats to the embassy come from Iran, according to intelligence reports.
The ambassador said Iraqi authorities have been requested to take all necessary measures to protect the members of the Saudi diplomatic mission.
He also said that the Saudi Embassy to Iraq took up the issue of photos offensive to Saudi Arabia, and its leaders, that appear on the streets of Baghdad, with the Iraqi government.
“We know who are behind this vicious campaign and their political goals, Al-Sabhan was quoted as saying by local media.
He said that Saudi Arabia does not prevent any Muslim from visiting holy places and performing religious rituals as long as they abide by and respect the law and security procedures.
“The reassuring thing for us is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis rejects these things, but they are helpless in the face of certain political or military forces,” he added. The envoy denied reports in the Iraqi press claiming that he visited Saudi Daesh prisoners.
He also stressed that any Saudi proved to have participated in terrorist acts must be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the country.
He said the number of Saudis in Iraqi prisons is estimated at about 70. They face various charges.


UN Security Council meets on Gaza violence

A photo taken on November 12, 2018 shows a ball of fire above the building housing the Hamas-run television station al-Aqsa TV in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike. (AFP)
Updated 14 November 2018
0

UN Security Council meets on Gaza violence

  • Seven Palestinians were killed in Gaza as Israeli strikes targeted militants and flattened buildings
  • Palestinian militant groups including Hamas, which rules Gaza, issued a joint statement earlier announcing an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel

UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN Security Council met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip but there was no agreement on how to address the crisis, diplomats said.
Kuwait, which represents Arab countries at the council, and Bolivia requested the meeting following the worst flareup in Gaza since the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel.
Addressing reporters after the 50-minute meeting, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the council was “paralyzed” and had “failed to shoulder its responsibility” to take action to end the violence.
“There is one country that is not allowing discussion at the council,” Mansour told reporters, in a reference to the United States, which has taken a pro-Israeli stance under President Donald Trump.
There was no statement from the council on the crisis. Such statements are agreed by consensus by all 15 council members.
Kuwait’s Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi said the majority of council members were of the view that the top UN body “should do something” and some suggested a visit to the region, but no decision was taken.
Palestinian militant groups including Hamas, which rules Gaza, issued a joint statement earlier announcing an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel.
The groups said they would abide by the truce as long as Israel did the same, but there was no immediate comment from the Israeli side.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon earlier said “we will not accept a call for both sides to exercise restraint” and laid the blame for the violence squarely on the Palestinians.
Seven Palestinians were killed in Gaza as Israeli strikes targeted militants and flattened buildings in the worst escalation of violence since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.
The latest round of violence began on Sunday with a botched Israeli special forces operation inside the Gaza Strip that turned deadly and prompted Hamas to vow revenge.
Palestinian militants responded with rocket and mortar fire. An anti-tank missile hit a bus that Hamas says was being used by Israeli soldiers. A soldier was severely wounded in the attack.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and protests and clashes along the Gaza border since March 30 have repeatedly raised fears of a fourth.