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Philippines warns new Iraqi ambassador against links with local terrorists

Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople told Iraq’s new ambassador to Manila on Thursday to warn his staff against forging links with terrorist groups in the country. Ople officially received Ghazi Fayssal Hussein at the Department of Foreign Affairs nearly four weeks after the Iraqi envoy arrived in the country. Last month, Manila expelled Iraqi Consul Husham Husain because he allegedly received a phone call from a member of the Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf following a bombing last October that killed three people, including a U.S. soldier on a training mission in southern Zamboanga city. “I asked the ambassador to warn members of his staff … against being involved in any activities exceeding the scope of their diplomatic rights and obligations,” Ople told reporters. “We are hoping that we do not have to repeat the action of expelling an Iraqi diplomat.” According to Ople, Hussein promised that the Iraqi Embassy “will definitely not be involved in activities with illegal groups and certainly not with terrorist groups.” Full Story

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