Iraqi envoy criticises other Arab countries for not sending ambassadors to Baghdad

Iraq's envoy to the Arab League criticized other Arab countries Tuesday for being slow to send ambassadors to Baghdad.

The Iraqi government will shortly define a secure area for embassies and diplomatic housing in Baghdad, Raad al-Alousi told reporters after a meeting at the league's headquarters in Cairo.

After that has been done, "no one can use the security aspect as an excuse" for not sending ambassadors to the Iraqi capital, al-Alousi said.

Al-Alousi, who is Iraq's representative to the Arab League, indicated his government was disappointed that more Arab governments did not already have ambassadors and fully staffed embassies in Baghdad.

"The Iraqi government did not see a positive follow through ... to the decision to restore diplomatic relations between Iraq and the Arab countries to their normal level," al-Alousi said, referring to a decision taken at Arab summit in March.

Arab countries should "not to stall or hesitate" in restoring full relations, he added.

Insurgents have targeted diplomats in Baghdad as part of their campaign to isolate and undermine the U.S.-backed government.

Three diplomats - two Algerians and an Egyptian - were kidnapped in July and killed. The terror group al-Qaida in Iraq, which is led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility.

Insurgents have also fired on diplomats from Pakistan and Bahrain in what police described as apparent kidnap attempts. The Pakistani escaped unharmed and the Bahraini was slightly wounded, the AP reports.

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