KRG suspends diplomatic affairs in Sweden over Quran desecration

The KRG Department “strongly condemns the disrespect that is done against the holy Quran for the second time in Sweden’s Stockholm.”
Kurdistan Regional Government Emblem
Kurdistan Regional Government Emblem

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representation in Sweden has suspended all diplomatic activities in protest of desecration of the Quran in the Nordic country’s capital.

The KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations decision came hours after Iraq decided to expel the Swedish Ambassador to Iraq following a Quran desecration on early Thursday by a member of the Iraqi diaspora community member.

The Department “strongly condemns the disrespect that is done against the holy Quran for the second time in Sweden’s Stockholm,” according to a statement shared with Kurdistan 24.

Salwan Momika, 37, had previously threatened to burn both the Quran and the Iraqi flag on Thursday, but rather, he chose to stomp on the objects under unclear circumstances.

Hundreds of protesters, angered by Sweden’s granting of permission to burn the Quran and the Iraqi flag, stormed and set the Scandinavian country’s embassy in Baghdad on fire for the second time in less than a month.

The KRG has condemned the desecration, saying the act is against international norms and the 1961 Vienna Convention.

The Swedish embassy staff was evacuated before the attack, which is the second of its kind in less than a month. Finnish news agency STT reported that the diplomatic staff of Finland's embassy was similarly evacuated.

The Scandinavian country’s foreign minister on Thursday slammed the Iraqi authorities’ failure in protecting the diplomatic mission and the Iraqi Chargé d'affaires had been summoned.

The Iraqi Shiite firebrand Moqtada al-Sadr, whose supporters constituted the majority of those that had stormed the embassy, said Sweden has announced its hostility against Iraq by granting permission to desecrate the holy book and Iraqi flag.