BAGHDAD – Egypt’s top envoy to Iraq, expected to become the first Arab ambassador in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein, was kidnapped late on Saturday, an Egyptian diplomat said on Sunday.
“He was buying a newspaper on Saturday evening when two BMWs full of gunmen blocked his way and kidnapped him,” the diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Iraq said just last week that Ihab el-Sharif would take up full ambassadorial rank to become the first diplomat of an Arab state with that status in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Egypt had yet to confirm that announcement, which was seen as an important sign of legitimacy for Iraq’s new government. Many Arab states have envoys in Baghdad, but none have had a full-fledged ambassador since Saddam was toppled in 2003…