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Saudi Arabia gave an apparent warning to the Iranian regime on Wednesday not to intervene in the conflict in Iraq which it said could escalate to full civil war with implications beyond Iraqi frontiers.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced it was recalling its envoy to Baghdad for consultations, and criticised what it called the sectarian policies of Iraq's government, an ally of the Iranian regime.

Speaking at a gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders in Jeddah, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said Iraq was facing a civil war with grave consequences for the wider region.

Prince Saud urged nations racked by violence to meet the "legitimate demands of the people and to achieve national reconciliation (without) foreign interference or outside agendas".

"This grave situation that is storming Iraq carries with it the signs of civil war whose implications for the region we cannot fathom," he said.

The prince said the three-year-old civil war in Syria had "helped to deepen the internal disturbance in Iraq".

Announcing the recall of its envoy, the UAE said it was worried that the Iraqi government's "sectarian" policies could heighten political tensions and worsen security there.

In a statement on the official WAM news agency, the foreign ministry added that the UAE opposed any interference in Iraq's affairs and sought the creation of a national unity government.

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