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Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Meets Kurdish Leader In Istanbul

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi
Iraq's fugitive vice president has met in Istanbul with Massud Barzani, the leader of the Iraqi semiautonomous Kurdish region.

Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq's top Sunni politician, is sought by the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad for allegedly running death squads against Shi'ite pilgrims, government officials, and security forces.

The government issued a warrant for his arrest in December, touching off a political crisis and deepening the sectarian divide just days after U.S. troops withdrew from the country.

Hashimi, who denies the charges and claims they are politically motivated, fled to Iraq's Kurdish region.

He has been staying in Turkey for the last 10 days following stops in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

It was unclear how long he would stay.

Barzani is paying an official visit to Turkey after talks with U.S. officials in Washington.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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