UAE recalls Baghdad ambassador amid growing crisis

Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has taken the action in view of 'dangerous developments' in Iraq

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that it has recalled Abdullah Ibrahim Al Shihi, Ambassador to Baghdad, in view of the "dangerous developments" in Iraq.

In a statement cited by official news agency WAM, the Ministry expressed its "deep concern at the continuation of the policy of exclusion, sectarianism and marginalisation of basic components of the Iraqi people".

The Ministry added: "Such an approach will exacerbate the situation and will create a political environment that will lead to a further growth in political tensions and deterioration of the security situation in Iraq."

The Foreign Ministry statement added that the UAE strongly believes that the only way to save Iraq and to preserve its territorial integrity and stability is through "the adoption of a national approach that is based on consensus and that brings people together, without excluding anyone".

It added that the UAE saw the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq as a top Arab national priority.

Earlier on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia said Iraq faced the threat of full-scale civil war with grave consequences for the wider region and, in an apparent message to arch rival Iran, warned against outside powers intervening in the conflict.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki has appealed for national unity with bitter Sunni critics of his Shi'ite-led government after a stunning offensive through the north of the country by Sunni Islamist militants over the past week.

Maliki has also accused regional Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia of backing the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who want to carve out a Sunni caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

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