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Iraqi Shia lawmakers respond angrily on Saudi Arabian ambassador’s criticism

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Iraqi Shia lawmakers responded angrily on Saturday to the Saudi Arabian ambassador’s criticism of militia forces in the country, with some calling for his expulsion less than a month after he arrived.

Thamer al-Sabhan is the first Baghdad-based Saudi ambassador in a quarter century, but while full diplomatic relations are restored, many Iraqi Shias view Riyadh as a supporter of jihadist groups and an enemy of their community.

Sabhan said in interview with Al-Sumaria television that the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary forces, which are dominated by Iran-backed Shia militias, are not wanted in Sunni Arab and Kurdish areas as “they are not accepted by the sons of Iraqi society”.

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