UAE FM in Iraq on landmark visit

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan arrived in Iraq on Thursday in the first visit by a Gulf Arab foreign minister since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, a UAE source said.

UAE FM in Iraq on landmark visit
The United States has been pressing Sunni Arab governments to shore up the Baghdad government by forgiving debts and establishing high-level diplomatic representation in Baghdad.

The UAE withdrew its top envoy from Iraq in May 2006 after one of its diplomats was kidnapped and held for nearly two weeks. It has maintained only low level representation in Iraq since.

No ambassador from any Sunni-led Arab country has been stationed permanently in Baghdad since Egypt's envoy was kidnapped and killed shortly after arriving in 2005.

Visits by top officials from Arab states, which have been reluctant to extend full legitimacy to Iraq's U.S.-backed government are also rare. By comparison, Iraq has growing ties with non-Arab Iran.

Analysts say the Iraqi government's reliance on U.S. and other foreign troops and perceived collusion by the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government with fellow-Shi'ite Iran may also lie behind the reluctance to normalise ties.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2008, 12:39
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