Iraq Defends Minister\'s Handshake with Saudi Counterpart at Ministers\' Meeting
Iraq's deputy foreign minister defended Friday the fact that the country's interior minister had shaken hands with his Saudi counterpart earlier this week, reported AFP.
Nizar Hamdoun, arriving in Doha on an official visit, was referring to a handshake Tuesday between Iraqi interior minister, Mohammed Zamam Abdul Razzak, and Saudi Arabia's Prince, Nayef bin Abdulaziz on the sidelines of a meeting of Arab interior ministers in Tunis, said the agency.
"This handshake is normal between two Arab ministers," Hamdoun was quoted by the official QNA news agency as saying.
On Wednesday, Prince Nayef also defended the handshake, said the agency.
"Political differences do not stop me from greeting an Arab and speaking to him," Prince Nayef said.
Prince Nayef last week denied any arrangements for a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart during the ministers' meeting.
Press reports said that the two ministers would meet in Tunisia to discuss the extradition of two Saudi nationals who hijacked a Saudi plane in November, and were later given asylum by the Iraqi authorities.
The minister, in a statement carried by the agency, "strongly denied such press reports."
Baghdad broke off diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia in February 1991 in the middle of the Gulf War -- Albawaba.com
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