Turkish diplomats said that the Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi can come any time to Turkey, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
The diplomats who wanted to remain anonymous told the Turkey-based newspaper, Today’s Zaman, that “Hashemi, in his capacity as Iraqi vice president, could come to Turkey any time he desires.”
Officials in Turkey expressed concern over the latest development in Iraq, fearing that the country could descend into chaos as was seein in 2003 after the ouster of Saddam Hussein by the United States.
Hashemi who has been accused of the November bombing of the Iraqi parliament, and has had an arrest warrant issued against him, is currently in the country’s autonomous region of Kurdistan, and under the protection of the Kurdish leaders.
Iraqi President, Jalal al-Talabani, who is a Kurd, said that the arrest warrant spoiled Iraqis’ celebration of U.S. troops leaving the country.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatened to resign if the parliament did not give a vote of no-confidence against Iraq’s deputy prime minister, Saleh al-Mutlak, and urged the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan to turn over Hashemi to the government.
Mutlak, who described the country’s prime minster as a “dictator,” said his secular, Sunni-backed political block is being increasingly marginalized by Maliki, in an interview with Al Arabiya TV.
On Thursday, a series of coordinated bombings rocked the Iraqi capital, killing at least 67 people and injuring as many as 185 others in the worst violence in Iraq for months and shortly after the U.S. troops’ withdrawal from the conflict-ridden country.