UK newspaper, The Independent, has given a public apology to Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Iraq Thamer al-Sabhan.
The apology is for an article that made false allegations on his cousin, Abdel Salaam, dying while fighting for ISIS.
The article, which appeared on September 7, also claimed that Iraq attempted to expel its first Saudi Arabian ambassador in a quarter of a century over claims on him refusing to condemn his cousin.
The apology, released by the newspaper, says: “An article of 7 September reported allegations that Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Iraq, Thamer al-Sabhan, had been expelled by the Iraqi government because he had failed to denounce a cousin who had died fighting for ISIS.”
It further says: “The Independent now understands that the person identified as a cousin of the ambassador is unrelated and unknown to him. Indeed, no member of the ambassador’s family has ever fought with ISIS or any other extremist organization.”
An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Saudi state news agency SPA, that there was no truth of the news published by British newspaper. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry did not demanded the withdrawal Sabhan for refusing to condemn a person named Abdul Salam Al-Sabhan.
The official source pointed out that there is no relative of the ambassador named Abdul Salam Al-Sabhan and that the mentioned person does not belong to the ambassador’s family, reported SPA.
“We apologize to Mr. Alsabhan and regret any distress caused by the publication of the article and have agreed to make a donation to the UN Counter-Terrorism Center on his behalf. We are glad to have this opportunity to correct the record,” the newspaper said.
The official source called on the media for accuracy and professionalism whilst reporting news.