Iraqi President Barham Saleh met on Sunday with Bahrain’s Ambassador Salah Ali Al Malki after the resumption of his duties. The meeting was seen as a gesture that Bahrain and Iraq have turned the page on the attack by protesters on the Bahraini Embassy, which prompted Manama to recall its envoy from Baghdad.
A copy of a statement issued by the Iraqi president and received by Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday, said Saleh entrusted the Ambassador with conveying his greetings to Barhaini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, expressing his thanks for the position of the King and his permanent support to Iraq and his wise handling of the attack on the Kingdom's embassy building in Baghdad.
The Iraqi President also commended the keenness of Bahrain’s King to further consolidate bilateral relations in all fields.
“We welcomed the Ambassador’s resumption of his tasks, wishing him continued success and for the Kingdom of Bahrain further development,” the statement said.
A day earlier, the Bahraini Ambassador was welcomed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hakim, who reiterated that his country rejects and condemns the assault on the embassy and affirmed the keenness of the Iraqi government to guarantee the safety and security of diplomatic missions on its territories.
On June 27, dozens of Iraqi protesters, mostly from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah Brigades, stormed the embassy in protest at the Manama-hosted workshop to reveal the economic aspects of the yet undisclosed US peace plan for the Middle East.
The incident would have triggered a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, particularly after Manama recalled its ambassador from Baghdad.
However, the governments of both countries were quick to contain the repercussions of the attack following measures taken by the Iraqi authorities.
Ihsan al-Shammari, head of the Iraqi Center for Political Thought, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday that “the return of the Bahraini Ambassador to Iraq reveals that Manama is aware about the importance of its relations with Baghdad.”
He said that Bahrain knows how to differentiate between the behaviors of the Iraqi authorities and some parties operating outside state control.
“Those parties are trying to stir tension between Iraq and the Gulf,” Shammari said.