Iraq summons UAE envoy

Baghdad, Feb 27 (IANS) Iraq on Saturday summoned the United Arab Emirates (UAE) envoy to protest over comments of the UAE foreign minister on Shia militia forces fighting the Islamic State (IS).

On Friday, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zaid said in a press conference in Moscow that there must be no differentiation between the IS group and the Iraq-backed Shia militias, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it summoned UAE Ambassador Abdulla Ibrahim al-Shihi to give him an official letter of protest at the ill intended remarks of the foreign minister.

It said that the government-backed paramilitary Shia fighters are fighting IS terrorist gangs and have liberated many areas in Iraq from the extremist militants.

“The units are working under the leadership of the prime minister, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces. Therefore, we reject comparing them with terrorist criminal gangs (IS),” the statement said.

The ministry also said that “UAE foreign minister’s remarks constituted an obvious meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs and a clear insult to security and military organisations.”

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