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Iraq recalls envoy to Jordan after opposition meets in Amman

July 19, 2014 3:12 A.M. (Updated: July 19, 2014 3:12 A.M.)
BAGHDAD (AFP) -- Baghdad on Friday said it had recalled its ambassador to Jordan, two days after Sunni Iraqi leaders meeting in Amman described a jihadist-led insurgency sweeping parts of Iraq as a "popular revolt."

"Iraq decides to withdraw its ambassador from the Jordanian capital Amman for consultations," the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website, without giving a reason for the move.

Iraqi Sunni leaders in exile on Wednesday downplayed a Sunni Islamist uprising led by Islamic State militants, portraying the violence as a fightback against an oppressive Shiite-led government.

IS fighters spearheaded an offensive that began in the Iraqi city of Mosul on June 9, and has since swept large parts of the country's northern and western provinces.

Around 300 Sunni clerics, tribal leaders, insurgent commanders and businessmen attended the meeting, where the Islamic State's role in the onslaught was downplayed and calls made to endorse "legitimate revolt" against the government.

Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has decried what he describes as foreign meddling in his country, and has accused countries in the region of arming and funding militants.

Iraq was almost torn apart in 2006-2007 when the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad, triggered a wave of sectarian slaughter between Shiite militias and Al-Qaeda-allied Sunni militants.
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