Iraq’s fugitive Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi left Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region for Qatar on Sunday, a statement from his office said.
Hashemi “left the Kurdistan region of Iraq this morning, Sunday, going to Doha in the brother state of Qatar,” accepting an invitation he had previously received, the statement emailed to AFP said.
During the visit, which will last several days, Hashemi will meet Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, before visiting unnamed other countries and returning to Kurdistan, the statement said.
Hashemi, who has been accused of running a death squad in Iraq, has been hiding out in the Kurdistan region since December. Though Baghdad has called for him to be handed over, the region has so far declined to do so.
Iraq had previously issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi, after the government obtained confessions linking him to what the official described as terrorist activities.
It is the first time since December that Hashemi has announced he has been outside the region.