Iraq wants Qatar to hand over fugitive VP

In this Dec. 23, 2011 file photo, Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks during an interview with the AP near Sulaimaniyah, Iraq. (Photo: AP)

April 02, 2012, Monday/ 12:10:00

Iraq's deputy prime minister has called on Qatar to hand over the nation's fugitive Sunni vice president to face terror charges in Baghdad.

Hussain al-Shahristani made the demand during a Monday news conference in Baghdad.

He said Qatar's decision to host Tariq al-Hashemi, the top Sunni official in Iraq's Shiite-led government, was "unacceptable."

Qatar has criticized what it calls the marginalization of Iraq's minority Sunnis.

Al-Hashemi's trip to Qatar is likely to deepen tensions between Iraq's government and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf. The strained ties are also linked to Baghdad's close ties with Iran and its ambivalent stand on Syria's one-year conflict.

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