Iraq's al-Hashemi urges Arab states to send envoys to Baghdad
Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on Wednesday appealed to Arab countries to send diplomatic missions to Baghdad, saying such a move would meet a mutual interest, the dpa reported.
"We encourage an effective Arab diplomatic presence in Iraq because such a step will fulfil and Arab interest before it meets the Iraqi interest," al-Hashemi said in remarks to reporters after talks with Jordanian Prime Minister Nader Dahabi.
"The rapprochement between Arab countries and Iraq is necessary especially at this difficult juncture," he added.
The issue of diplomatic representation was apparently taken up by al-Hashemi with both Dahabi and King Abdullah II, but neither of them committed their country to re-opening the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad which was the scene for a fatal bombing in August 2003.
Jordan named a new ambassador in Iraq three years ago but the envoy failed to take up his post due to lack of security protection, according to officials.
However, al-Hashemi said that a forthcoming visit to Jordan by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki "will represent a turning point in the ties" between the two countries.
He said that he had briefed Jordanian leaders on the political situation in Iraq stressing the need for "a new Arab reading of what is going on in the country and the necessity of erecting bridges with Iraq with a view to restoring stability there in the near future so as it can proceed to the reconstruction process".
From his part, the Jordanian prime minister renewed his country's support to the national reconciliation brewing in Iraq, stressing the need for "involvement of all components of the Iraqi people in the political process."
Dahabi expressed Jordan's "rejection of any foreign interventions in the Iraqi internal affairs," in an allusion to Iran.