Al-Hashemi in Ankara for treatment
REUTERS PhotoIraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi arrived in Ankara Friday for medical treatment, only days after the Interpol issued red notice for the fugitive Sunni politician. He is temporarily residing in Istanbul after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an arrest warrant against him.
“He is here as part of a long medical treatment process,” President Abdullah Gül told reporters yesterday, recalling that al-Hashemi was still the vice president of Iraq in the eyes of Turkey.
Referring to the fact that al-Hashemi is accused of establishing a terrorist gang in Iraq, Gül said “it is not right to compare al-Hashemi with the terrorists based in the Iraqi mountains who enjoy the political vacuum.”
Repeating Turkey’s stance of not interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs, especially at a time when it is trying to rebuild itself, Gül said, “we want to help them with all our good intentions. Everyone in Iraq is our brother and we do not discriminate them on the basis of race or sect.”
The president said Turkey’s wish was to see Iraq in peaceful relations with all its neighbors and its own people, and to establish a new order. Turkey had previously announced that it would neither arrest nor handover al-Hashemi to Iraq upon Interpol’s call.