Bahrain summons Iraqi diplomat to denounce Maliki’s criticism

Iraqi Vice President and former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki attends to cast his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah. REUTERS

Manama ( – Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d’affaires at the Iraqi embassy on Monday to denounce footage of former Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki criticizing Manama’s crackdown on the Shiite opposition, Reuters said.

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,” Maliki said, according to videos from the event.

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

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

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment but it was expected to issue a statement.

Bahrain, like Iraq, is seen as a flashpoint for the proxy war between the two regional arch-rivals Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran.

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