Bahrain says Iraqi diplomat ‘interfered in internal affairs'

Moayad Abdul Rahman was ordered to return to Baghdad following a note of protest

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, right, summoned Iraqi diplomat Moayad Abdul Rahman, left. Photo: BNA
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Bahrain summoned the Iraqi charge d'affaires for allegedly breaching diplomatic norms by repeatedly “interfering in the internal political affairs of the kingdom”, it said on Thursday.

The incident was not related to commercial disputes between the two countries, said Mohammed Issa Al Abbasi, spokesman for Bahrain’s National Communication Centre.

The summoning of Moayad Abdul Rahman, followed by an official protest note, was “based on his repeated violations of diplomatic norms, including his interference in the internal political affairs” of Bahrain, said Mr Al Abbasi.

“It is not related in any way to commercial arrangements in the field of transport between the two countries,” he said.

Mr Al Abbasi praised the decision of Iraq's Foreign Ministry to return Mr Abdul Rahman to Baghdad.

State news agency BNA said on Tuesday that Mr Abdul Rahman made “repeated” violations and his “recent unacceptable behaviour” had interfered with the internal affairs of the kingdom.

It is not the first time that Bahrain has summoned diplomats in or from Iraq.

In April 2019, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry summoned the Iraqi charge d'affaires after comments made by Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada Al Sadr at the time, which Manama viewed as insulting.

Mr Al Sadr's comments represented “an unacceptable offence” against Bahrain and its leadership, the foreign ministry said in 2019.

In July 2019, the Bahraini foreign ministry summoned its ambassador to Iraq, Salah Al Maliki, for consultations after the storming of its embassy building in Baghdad by protesters.

In December 2018, Nihad Rajab Askar, who was then the deputy charge d'affaires of the embassy of Iraq to Bahrain, was summoned by Bahrain’s foreign ministry after former Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al Maliki met with the February 14 movement, a Bahraini group which Manama designated a terrorist group in 2014.

Updated: March 30, 2023, 12:29 PM