JAFFA, Israel – Iraq’s Foreign Ministry has summoned their ambassador in Portugal to return to Baghdad in light of a recent diplomatic crisis that threatens relations between the two countries.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement that the ambassador was summoned in order to question him regarding “the incident involving his sons.”
On Friday, the Portuguese Foreign Ministry informed Iraq that they were considering a series of diplomatic steps that could be taken after the ambassador’s twin 17-year-old sons attacked and beat a 15-year-old Portuguese teen, Ruben Cavaco.
The incident occurred in the area of Ponte de Sor where the ambassador’s sons attend flight school.
Portugal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva (pictured), said that the government was considering “in case it is proven, to remove immunity for the two.” In an interview with a local television station, the ambassador’s children claimed that they had only been defending themselves and they were ready to bear full responsibility for their actions.
Haydar Ali, one of the two sons, said, “I’m prepared to take full responsibility for my actions. I genuinely apologize to the teen’s family.” Haydar Ali and his twin brother claimed they were attacked by 5-6 young men, including Cavaco, as they exited a restaurant.
Rida Ali, the second brother, said that they had returned to the area of the incident to search for belongings they had lost during the fight. “We met Ruben there who spoke to us in very harsh and threatening Portuguese and even hit me in my face and shoulder.”
According to him, Ruben tried to run “but my brother and I managed to hit him until he was beaten to the floor and we continued to kick him.”
The teen’s attorney said that Ruben was unconscious from the blows he received as he was transferred to the hospital and that he suffers from a concussion, but that he had been released from the intensive care unit where he had received initial medical attention.
The Iraqi embassy in Portugal said that a complaint had been filed with police against the local boys who had attacked the ambassador’s sons, but that police had only committed themselves to their “obligation to deal with the issue as soon as possible.”
According to the embassy, the ambassador’s sons had returned to the scene of the incident to look for the keys to their apartment when one of their attackers began cursing and hitting one of the two. “The boys responded and a quarrel began, after which the ambassador’s sons went to the police station and filed a complaint.”
Immediately after the incident, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry announced an investigation into the matter.