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 Kurdistan president Barzani meets Iraq's fugitive Sunni VP Hashemi in Turkey 

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Kurdistan president Barzani meets Iraq's fugitive Sunni VP Hashemi in Turkey  19.4.2012  








The president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani (C) leaves the Conrad Hotel after his meeting with Iraqi Vice President in Istanbul on April 19, 2012 Photo: Getty Images


Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi (2nd L) leaves after his meeting with Fuad Hussein, Kurdistan President's chief of staff, at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul, on April 19, 2012. Iraq's fugitive vice president, who has been sheltering in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, following a political dispute in Baghdad met the region's leader Massoud Barzani on Thursday April 19, 2012. Photo: Getty Images  See Related Links
April 19, 2012

ISTANBUL, — Iraq's fugitive vice president, who has been sheltering in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, following a political dispute in Baghdad on Thursday met Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani.

The two Iraqis got together for a closed meeting in Istanbul, where Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim, has been staying for the last 10 days as part of a regional tour he began in early April.

"We have had fruitful talks," Hashemi told the press without giving details.

Barzani is here for talks with Turkey's top officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to boost counter-terrorism efforts, as well as to discuss regional issues including the unrest in Syria.

The Kurdish leader has been sheltering Hashemi since Nuri al-Maliki's central Baghdad government issued an arrest warrant against the vice president in December after allegations of running a death squad.

Hashemi vehemently denies the charges and accuses Maliki of fabricating them to pave the way for one-man rule in Iraq.

His opinion is shared by Barzani, who said that Iraq was moving towards another dictatorship under Maliki's rule.

Since political crises deepened in Iraq late last year, Ankara has said it will welcome Hashemi if the fugitive decided to come to Turkey.

Hashemi's regional tour kicked off with a visit to Doha, which refused Baghdad's demand to deport Hashemi,www.ekurd.net further straining ties between the Shiite and Sunni regional rivals.

Hashemi's aides said his visits were part of a regional tour and he would not live in exile but be back in the Kurdish region in Iraq.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP  


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