Fugitive Iraqi vice president in Saudi Arabia
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Wed April 4, 2012
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi (pictured in 2008) is wanted by authorities on terrorism charges.
- Tariq al-Hashimi met Saudi foreign minister Wednesday, a government spokesman says
- He is wanted on terrorism charges in Iraq and has been banned from leaving the country
- Al-Hashimi has denied the charges, calling them politically motivated
(CNN) -- Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, wanted by Iraqi authorities on terrorism charges, was in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, holding talks with the kingdom's foreign minister, a Saudi government spokesman said.
"He came to Saudi Arabia and met with Prince Saudi Al-Faisal, the foreign minister," Usama al-Nugali, a spokesman for the ministry, told CNN. "He is, after all, the vice president of Iraq."
Al-Nugali would provide no details of the meeting, which came despite Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's request that neighboring states snub the wanted dignitary.
Al-Hashimi has been living in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region since Iraqi authorities issued an arrest warrant for him on terrorism charges. Al-Hashimi has denied the charges and called them "politically motivated."
His visit to Saudi Arabia follows a Sunday stop in Qatar, where he met with the country's emir and prime minister. Al-Hashimi's office said that he was in Qatar "based on an invitation he had received earlier" and that he would be making other stops in the region before returning to Kurdistan.
Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political leaders have squared off over the December arrest warrant for al-Hashimi, Iraq's top Sunni political figure. In an interview with CNN in January, al-Hashimi accused al-Maliki -- a Shiite -- of pushing the country toward a deep sectarian divide.
Al-Maliki has demanded that Kurdish lawmakers hand over al-Hashimi, who refuses to return to Baghdad.
The charges against al-Hashimi appear to be based on the purported confessions of three men, identified as the vice president's security guards. Iraqi state television aired video of the confessions in December, but CNN has not been able to verify the men's identities independently.
In February, Iraq's top judicial committee accused al-Hashimi's security detail of carrying out 150 attacks against security forces and civilians between 2005 and 2011. Al-Hashimi said the nine-judge council was under the control of the Shiite-dominated central government.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.