Sweden says embassy staff in Iraq temporarily moved to Stockholm

Sweden says embassy staff in Iraq temporarily moved to Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, July 21 (Xinhua) —

The Swedish embassy staff in Iraq has been temporarily relocated from Baghdad to Stockholm, Swedish authorities said on Friday.

“Seconded personnel have arrived in Sweden by regular flight,” the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs told TT news agency in a written statement.

Hundreds of Iraqis stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set fire to the building in the early hours of Thursday, in protest against burning of the Quran and the Iraqi flag in Sweden.

The Iraqi government on Thursday decided to ask the Swedish ambassador to leave Iraq and recall its charge d’affaires from Sweden.

A statement by the government said Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani issued the directives “in response to the repeated permission of the Swedish government to burn the Quran, insult Islamic sanctities, and burn the Iraqi flag.”

The person who had burned the Quran in Stockholm late last month had sought and gotten permission from the Swedish Police for a demonstration again, at which another burning had been planned.

On June 30, protesters stormed the Swedish embassy just outside the heavily-fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, after a copy of the Quran was torn up and burned in front of a mosque in Stockholm on June 28 during a demonstration authorized by the Swedish authorities.

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