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Iraqi Shi'ite Leader Visits Turkey Amid Tensions


Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council

Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council

A top Iraqi Shi'ite politician has traveled to Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders amid tensions between Iraq and Turkey in connection with a standoff between rival Iraqi Shi'ite and Sunni politicians.

Ammar al-Hakim, a cleric and leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, was meeting Thursday with Turkey's foreign minister, the prime minister and the president.

The crisis in Iraq has intensified since the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, issued an arrest warrant against a leading Sunni politician on terrorism charges.

Sunni politicians in return have accused Maliki of trying to grab more power.

Turkey's government, fearing a renewal of sectarian violence in its neighbor Iraq, has been a vocal critic of Maliki, who in return has accused Ankara of meddling in Iraq's affairs.

compiled from agency reports
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