June 8, 2023

Dubai Week

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Why did Iraq’s ambassador anger Bahrain…what does the king’s video have to do with it?

Ambiguity shrouds the causes of the diplomatic crisis that erupted overnight between Bahrain and Iraq, with Bahrain’s foreign ministry on Tuesday summoning Iraq’s charge d’affaires Moyad Omar Abdul Rahman and expressing its displeasure at his “repeated violations of diplomatic ethics,” before the Iraqi foreign ministry announced he would return to Baghdad. .

Neither side explained the details of what happened in terms of the actions that led to Bahrain’s reaction, but activists on social media circulated a video showing Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa receiving greetings from representatives of diplomatic missions for his visit. Last Friday in the month of Ramadan.

The king, along with his Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and senior politicians, received diplomatic delegations at the Shakir Palace, the statement said. Bahrain News Agency.

While the meeting was limited to handshakes and diplomatic chatter about the strength of bilateral ties, Iraq’s charge d’affaires stopped Bahraini King Hamad Al Khalifa and spoke to him alone.

Commentators considered this situation to be a breach of protocol, as it was not appropriate for the trustees to seek to deliver their speech directly to the monarch during a regular meeting.

The situation remains a matter of speculation as neither country has commented on the details of the “inappropriate” behaviour.

Bahrain’s foreign ministry ended the controversy following Iraq’s withdrawal of responsibilities from its embassy in Manama, revealing that the Iraqi move was related to “violations and abuses by the Iraqi embassy” and not related to commercial arrangements. In the field of transport between the two countries.

Analysts who spoke to Al-Hurrah ruled out the possibility that the withdrawal of the indictment would have any direct or indirect effects on relations between the two countries as the two sides began bilateral contacts to address the issue. He pointed out that the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s move to withdraw the diplomat effectively ended the issue.

Mohammed al-Abbasi, the official spokesman for the government’s National Communications Center in Bahrain, summoned Iraqi embassy officials to the Foreign Ministry and handed him an official protest note, “based on his repeated violations of diplomatic norms,” ​​according to the official Bahrain News Agency.

The Bahraini official praised the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ decision to return Manama, expressing “the Kingdom of Bahrain’s appreciation for this move,” especially after a phone call to Foreign Minister Abdul Latif bin Rashid al-Zayani, received from his Iraqi counterpart, Fouad Hussein.

This is not the first time Bahrain has invited diplomats to or from Iraq. Such diplomatic moves have been repeated over the past decade when the two countries and their bilateral relations have been affected by political events and changes in the region.

‘No unintended consequences’

A former Iraqi diplomat, Qazi al-Faisal, refused to talk about the “crisis in relations between Bahrain and Iraq”, pointing out that recent developments did not even qualify as a “diplomatic dispute”. As it relates to the person in charge of the Baghdad embassy in Manama, it should be kept within its personal framework, so the case will not have any effect on the relations between the two countries that share common interests. and history.

In a statement to Al-Hurrah, Manama considered that the acting diplomat may have acted contrary to international diplomatic law and diplomatic ethics, either at the personal level or at the level of his connections and relationships, to interfere. Internal affairs.

The same spokesman said that Bahrain did not consider the diplomat “unwanted” but rather that he had “violated diplomatic norms” and therefore the matter was “a caution and caution from the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding his actions”.

The move by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to withdraw its diplomats and return them to the ministry’s office in Baghdad is “a dignified act consistent with Iraq’s respect for diplomatic traditions,” explains a former Iraqi diplomat. Contributing to the development of historical relations between the two countries.

“case closed”

For his part, Bahraini writer and political analyst Ibrahim al-Naham believes that Bahraini-Iraqi relations are “bigger and higher than the transgressions of an ambassador attached to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, adding that Bahrain is “a state. Institutions and law and from its inception to maintain good relations with other countries”. Curious.” region, region and world.

Bahrain’s foreign policy is “calm and balanced and based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” a Bahraini analyst highlighted in a report to Al-Hurrah, so the Iraqi embassy’s actions “a violation of international diplomatic norms, interfering in the internal affairs of countries is unacceptable.”

The spokesman described Manama’s handling of the situation as “smart” as it resolved the issue through official channels, with Bahrain’s foreign minister summoning the person concerned and expressing Bahrain’s protest over the matter. On the other hand, the contact Iraqi side “is good and reflects Baghdad’s interest in maintaining its relations with Bahrain, by withdrawing the ambassador and exchanging contacts.

Bahrain gives an explanation after its decision to invite Iraq’s perpetrators

Bahrain denied that the decision to summon officials at the Iraqi embassy in the Gulf kingdom was related to ongoing arrangements in the transport sector between the two countries, and confirmed that the Iraqi embassy had committed “repeated violations”.

Iraq decided to withdraw following Bahrain’s condemnation of what it described as “unacceptable behavior” by the Iraqi embassy, ​​”contrary to diplomatic norms in the Kingdom and unacceptable interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs”. Iraqi responsibility from Bahrain to Baghdad.

Ahmad al-Sahaf, a spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, said the move was “taken to improve the status of Iraqi diplomacy, which the ministry follows in protecting diplomatic norms.”

On Wednesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussain called his Bahraini minister by phone, in which he confirmed, “Iraq attaches great importance to strengthening bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

During the call, the Iraqi minister confirmed that “Iraq is working to develop ways of cooperation to achieve the interests of both countries.”

In the face of all these moves, the Bahraini political analyst, for his part, dismisses the issue as having future ramifications as the two countries seek to build strong and healthy ties that will help them navigate the future. “Problem effectively closed.”

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