Iraq PM says Turkish remarks do not show respect
BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki criticised Turkey today for remarks he said did not show "mutual respect", in the latest bout of a weeks-long spat between the two neighbors.
Maliki's comments came as Turkey said it would not extradite fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is accused of running death squads and is the subject of an Interpol international Red Notice.
"We do not have any problems with Turkey," Maliki to according to a statement issued by his office.
"We do not want to antagonise Turkey, or Iran, or America, or Saudi Arabia, or any other country, but what happened and the remarks issued by Turkey do not show mutual respect."
His remarks come after Iraq and Turkey last month summoned each other's ambassadors to express their displeasure over a worsening row.
At the time, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Maliki, a Shiite, of stoking sectarian tensions between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, and of monopolizing power.
Maliki fired back, saying such comments "will damage Turkey's interests and makes it a hostile state for all."
The Iraqi premier's latest comments came as Turkish deputy prime minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Wednesday that Ankara would not extradite Hashemi, whose trial in Baghdad is due to begin on May 15 after two delays.