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Russia Chides US For Failing To Protect Its Iraq Embassy January 12, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News, World News.
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MOSCOW (AP)–Russia urged the U.S. Friday to provide a better protection for its embassy in Baghdad, which was shelled earlier this week, and harshly criticized the detention of five Iranians by U.S. forces in Iraq.

In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “underlined the responsibility of the U.S. command of the multinational forces to ensure a reliable security” for Russian and other diplomatic missions and “the need to prevent such incidents in the future,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov raised the issue with Rice after the Iraqi ambassador and a U.S. Embassy official were summoned to the ministry about the Wednesday evening shooting. No one was injured in the incident, which the ministry said damaged the Baghdad building.

Russia has been a consistent critic of the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq. The abduction and killing of four Russian diplomats in Baghdad in June prompted calls from Moscow for better security measures by Iraqi and U.S. forces.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin Friday also harshly criticized the detention of five Iranians by U.S.-led forces in Irbil in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. He said the detention represented a “flagrant violation” of international conventions and was at odds with Washington’s declared respect for Iraq’s sovereignty.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable when the military storms a foreign consular office on the territory of another state,” Kamynin said at a briefing.

“The unlawful actions by the U.S. servicemen mark an open abuse of a mandate issued to the multinational forces in Iraq,” he said.

The arrests in Irbil – the second targeting Iranians in less than a month -drew condemnation from the regional Kurdish government and concern from Iraqi officials who are trying to balance Iraq’s close ties with Iran and the rivalry between Tehran and Washington.

Top U.S. officials have repeatedly accused Iran of helping to fuel the violence in Iraq with weapons and money.

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