Iraqi Vice President Tariq al- Hashimi, the top Sunni Muslim politician whom authorities in Baghdad are seeking to jail on terrorism charges, arrived in Turkey last night, NTV news channel reported on its website.
Hashimi flew to Istanbul from Qatar, where the minister of state in charge of foreign affairs refused an extradition request from Iraq, according to the Istanbul-based television channel. Khalid Bin Mohamed Al Attiyah told reporters that Hashimi is a visiting statesman who hasn’t been relieved of his duties or sentenced for a crime, NTV reported. Hashimi previously fled to Iraqi Kurdistan in the north.
Turkey has called efforts by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki, a Shiite formerly exiled in Iran, to arrest Hashimi “unacceptable.”
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