Saudi delegation walks out of Arab League meeting after Iraqi minister's comments
The minister said, "Hashd Shaabi and Hezbollah have preserved the dignity of the Arabs, and those who call them terrorists are the terrorists."
The Saudi delegation at the Arab League stormed out of a meeting after Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari defended the Hashd Shaabi group, an Iraqi foreign ministry source told Reuters on Friday.
Tensions between both countries have been on the rise as sectarian wars rage in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, and the Arab League has become a forum for countries, led by Saudi Arabia, to air grievances with regional power Iran.
"The Saudi delegation withdrew from the meeting hall after the speech of Foreign Minister Al-Jaafari who rejected speaking against Hashd Shaabi and other resistance groups," the source said, declining to be named.
"In his speech he said that Hashd Shaabi and Hezbollah have preserved the dignity of the Arabs and those who call them terrorists are the terrorists," he said.
A Saudi foreign ministry spokesman could not be reached for comment.
In January, Iraq summoned the Saudi ambassador after he suggested Iranian-backed militias were exacerbating sectarian tensions in Iraq.
Morocco said last month that it would not host the 2016 Arab League meeting as scheduled, saying it wanted to avoid giving a false impression of unity in the Arab world.
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