The UAE has summoned the Iraq’s ambassador to the emirates to condemn comments made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, who accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism.

In a statement delivered to the ambassador, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said that the comments were “totally without foundation and not based on any correct assessment of the situation”.

He adds that Saudi Arabia plays “a prominent role in fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.

In a recent TV interview with France 24 broadcast, the Iraqi leader accused both the Saudi and Qatari governments of fuelling sectarian divides through accusations he was marginalising Sunnis.

“These two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian and terrorist and security crisis of Iraq,” he said during the interview broadcast on 8 March.

Bahrain has also condemned Maliki’s comments, stating that the comments were “baseless and irresponsible”.

Saudi Arabia responded to the accusations on 10 March, expressing “disapproval and astonishment over the aggressive and irresponsible statements”.

As yet, Qatar has not responded to the comments.

The diplomatic row comes as relations within the Gulf are increasingly strained.

On 5 March, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE pulled their ambassadors out of Qatar due to disagreements over security policy.