Iraqi Trade Ministry Sends Mixed Messages on Move
In a move seen as relation for refusing to extradite Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, the Iraqi Trade Ministry has halted the licenses of all Turkish companies active in Iraq, as well as refusing all new applications.
Iraqi officials initially denied that the move was anything to do with the Hashemi dispute, and also claimed that it wouldn’t effect businesses operations, saying it was “a mere business thing.”
Later, however, the Trade Ministry announced that the move also covered all existing operating licenses, and promised it to continue until “arrangements” have been made with the Turkish government.
Iraq sentenced Hashemi to death last week on “terrorism” charges, but he has been in Turkey for several months receiving medical treatment. Turkish officials have ruled out forcing him to return, saying he is welcome to stay in Turkey as long as he needs to.
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