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Saudi Ambassador: Iraqi Government Hasn’t provided Us with Armored Vehicles | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Thamer al-Sabhan

London, Riyadh–Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Thamer al-Sabhan said that the Saudi Embassy had requested armored vehicles from the Iraqi government following the terrorist threats, and up till now they haven’t received any.

Sabhan told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that according to information, some threats came from political quarters linked with Iran. “We requested the Iraqi authorities take all procedures to ensure protection,” he added.

Regarding the media campaign reporting that the ambassador visited Saudi prisoners belonging to ISIS and promised they would be released, Sabhan confirmed that didn’t happen.

He said that although it is the embassy’s duty to visit the prisoners and oversee their situation according to international treaties, yet the media allegations are not true.

He added that not all of them are linked to terrorist cases and they have rights as Iraq needs to execute all verdicts issued. He explained that no Saudi has an excuse to violate the laws of the country he is in.

According to Sabhan, there are about 70 Saudi in Iraqi prisons.

When asked about the abusive images of Saudi Arabia in streets of Baghdad, Sabhan said that they know who is responsible for it and the images are solely for political reasons.

He added that what reassures them is that most Iraqis reject such behavior, but they can do nothing about it due to political or military overpower.

In response to the embassy being targeted by the media, he explained that this started before the diplomatic delegation. He added that Saudi Arabia is concerned with denouncing sectarianism all over the Arab and Islamic countries.

Regarding the images of members of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the holy Mecca and Medina, Saudi Ambassador said that his country doesn’t prevent anyone from visiting the holy sites no matter their background as long as they abide by the laws and regulations.

Sabhan added that Mecca and Medina are holy cities for all Muslims and Saudi Arabia doesn’t prevent anyone from visiting them. He explained that these members are not enlisted on the no-flight list whether for terrorist cases or Interpol issues.

The ambassador then added that Saudi Arabia welcomes all people, given that they abide by the law. He explained that whoever violates the laws and security procedures is subjecting himself for questioning.

Sabhan concluded that Saudi Arabia has the ability to chase anyone on its soil to maintain its security.