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Bahrain summons Iraqi diplomat over criticism from ex-PM Maliki

Reuters , Monday 24 Dec 2018
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Bahrain's Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d'affaires of the embassy of Iraq on Monday to denounce footage of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki criticising Manama's crackdown on the Shia opposition.

Maliki who now heads an Iraqi coalition called "the State of Law", attended a meeting last week organised by the February 14 movement, a Bahraini activist group which Manama designated a terrorist group in 2014.

"Discrimination, marginalisation ... have reached a severe limit on the people of Bahrain," Maliki said according to videos from the event published by Iraqi media.

He was quoted as urging dialogue with those "demanding freedom and justice" to protect Bahrain and Bahrain's people, Sunnis and Shia.

Bahrain described Maliki's statements as "blatant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain", state news agency (BNA) reported.

"(A Bahraini official) described Maliki’s attitude as a clear solidarity with those who seek to spread chaos, violence and terrorism and exhibit hatred," BNA said.

Iraq's Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment but it was expected to issue a statement.

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