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Statements made by Iraqi officials regarding Bahrain's unrest caused the Arab League to postpone an Arab summit in Baghdad scheduled for May, said league Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Ben Helli.
In remarks published on Tuesday in the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Ben Helli said the remarks complicated the situation facing Arab countries. He called for patience until the impact of the remarks is eliminated.
The Algerian diplomat said the comments from Iraqi officials, including Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, lacked political decorum and were at odds with the Arab framework agreed upon through Arab League meetings.
The statements mark strong criticism of Iraqi officials who voiced support for Bahrain's Shia opposition groups, which have been calling for political reform and an end to their marginalization in the country.
Gulf states had called for the Baghdad summit, planned for 10 May, to be cancelled.
Ben Helli said Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has invited Arab foreign ministers for a meeting in Cairo on 8 May to discuss the future of the summit and to determine Moussa's successor. His term as the league’s head ends on 15 May.