Iraqi Prime Minister: Bahrain crackdown can trigger war

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Saturday, 26 March 2011


105333Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned that the deployment of troops from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf littoral states to protest-hit Bahrain could spark a sectarian war.

Maliki's warning came after Saudi Arabia and the UAE
"The situation in Bahrain is different from those in Libya and Egypt. In Libya and Egypt the issue is not sectarian while in Bahrain it has become between Sunnis and Shias," Maliki said in an interview with the state-funded BBC Arabic television service aired on Friday.

His comments come in the wake of Bahrain's heavy-handed crackdown on anti-government protesters that have been seeking political reforms and an end to the two-century long rule of al-Khalifa dynasty.

"We did not move to support the Shias in Bahrain but we called for interference in Bahraini affairs to be stopped and don't want to make it a sectarian issue. Because if it happens, it will be like a snowball, it will get bigger if it is ignored ... The region may be drawn into a sectarian war," the Iraqi premier noted.

Maliki has previously criticized the military intervention in Bahrain by Persian Gulf Arab states.

At least 24 people have been martyred and thousands more wounded since the start of the recent uprising in Bahrain, with the most recent victim dying on Friday by teargas fired by Bahraini security forces.

">  sent hundreds of troops to the tiny Persian Gulf state to help the Kingdom's brutal crackdown on Bahrain's anti-government protesters.

"The situation in Bahrain is different from those in Libya and Egypt. In Libya and Egypt the issue is not sectarian while in Bahrain it has become between Sunnis and Shias," Maliki said in an interview with the state-funded BBC Arabic television service aired on Friday.

His comments come in the wake of Bahrain's heavy-handed crackdown on anti-government protesters that have been seeking political reforms and an end to the two-century long rule of al-Khalifa dynasty.

"We did not move to support the Shias in Bahrain but we called for interference in Bahraini affairs to be stopped and don't want to make it a sectarian issue. Because if it happens, it will be like a snowball, it will get bigger if it is ignored ... The region may be drawn into a sectarian war," the Iraqi premier noted.

Maliki has previously criticized the military intervention in Bahrain by Persian Gulf Arab states.

At least 24 people have been martyred and thousands more wounded since the start of the recent uprising in Bahrain, with the most recent victim dying on Friday by teargas fired by Bahraini security forces.

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