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Published: Thursday June 19, 2014 MYT 1:10:02 AM
Updated: Thursday June 19, 2014 MYT 1:10:13 AM

UAE recalls envoy to Iraq, hits at Baghdad's 'sectarian' policies

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday it was recalling its ambassador to Baghdad for consultations, saying it was worried that the Iraqi government's "sectarian" policies could heighten political tensions and worsen security there.

In a statement carried on the official WAM news agency, the foreign ministry added that the UAE, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, opposed any interference in Iraq's affairs and sought the creation of a national unity government.

"The ministry expressed its deep concern at the policy of exclusion, sectarianism and marginalisation of basic components of the Iraqi people," the statement said.

"Such an approach will exacerbate the situation and will create a political environment that will lead to a further growth in political tensions and deterioration of the security situation in Iraq."

The statement said the UAE reaffirmed its condemnation of the "terrorism" of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and of other such organisations, which it said had led to the killing of many innocent Iraqis.

It added that it reaffirmed its total rejection of any interference in Iraq's internal affairs.

(Reporting by Amena Bakr; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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