Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, pictured in 2011, criticised Turkey on Thursday for remarks he said did not show "mutual respect", in the latest bout of a weeks-long spat between the two neighbours. © Ahmad al-Rubaye - AFP/File
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
AFP
Last updated: May 10, 2012

Iraqi Prime Minister says Turkish remarks do not show respect

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki criticised Turkey on Thursday for remarks he said did not show "mutual respect", in the latest bout of a weeks-long spat between the two neighbours.

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 told NRT, a Kurdish satellite channel, according to a statement issued by his office that included quotes from the yet-to-be broadcast interview.

"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 Erdogan accused Maliki, a Shiite, of stoking sectarian tensions between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, and of monopolising 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 Bozdag said on Wednesday that Ankara would not extradite Hashemi, whose trial in Baghdad is due to begin on May 15 after two delays.

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