Protesters storm embassy in reaction to burning of copy of Quran under police protection in Sweden last month
Sweden on Thursday condemned an attack on its embassy by “violent protesters” in Iraq.
“What happened is unacceptable and the government condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms,” Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said in a statement.
“The embassy office was occupied, vandalized, and set on fire,” Billstrom said, noting that a similar incident occurred less than a month ago.
Underlining that Iraqi authorities have an unequivocal obligation to protect diplomatic missions and diplomatic staff in accordance with the Vienna Convention, he said: “It is clear that the Iraqi authorities have failed to fulfill this obligation.”
The minister said that Stockholm is in communication with high-level Iraqi representatives and the Iraqi charge d’affaires in Stockholm has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry.
The staff at the Swedish Embassy were able to move to safety, Billstrom said, and added that the government is now reviewing what further measures need to be taken.
Iraq on Thursday threatened to sever its diplomatic relations with Sweden if the desecration of Muslims’ holy book, the Quran, occurred again in the future.
The announcement came after protesters in Iraq stormed the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad and set it on fire early Thursday in response to the burning of a copy of the Quran in Sweden.
The action by followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr came after Salwan Momika burned a copy of the Muslim holy book under police protection in front of the Stockholm Mosque in Sweden last month, which was widely condemned in Muslim countries.