Saudi Intelligence Minister Abdulaziz Khoja on unrest in Iraq
Saudi Arabia rejected on Monday the idea of any foreign interference in Iraq and blamed Baghdad’s “sectarian and exclusionary” policies for a lightning offensive by Sunni insurgents, Reuters reported.
The crisis “would not have happened if it wasn’t for the sectarian and exclusionary policies that were practiced in Iraq in past years and which threatened its security, stability and sovereignty”, official news agency SPA cited Intelligence Minister Abdulaziz Khoja as saying.
In the government statement, Riyadh Riyadh said it was necessary to “preserve Iraq’s sovereignty” and rejected any outside interference in Baghdad’s internal affairs. It also urged the “quick formation of a national consensus government”.
Earlier on Monday, Qatar’s foreign minister blamed the “narrow” Shi’ite sectarianism of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government in Baghdad for the crisis.
The militants’ gains followed “negative factors building up over a period of years”, Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera quoted Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah as telling a conference in Bolivia on Sunday.
“(Baghdad has been) pursuing policies based on narrow factional interests, adopting marginalisation and exclusion, ignoring peaceful sit-ins, dispersing them by force, using violence against them and describing opponents as terrorists,” said Attiyah.