Tensions between Qatar and Iraq have grow after Doha has said it is unable to hand over wanted Iraq Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, who has taken shelter in the country. Al-Hashemi has been accused of terror charges in Baghdad.

“It would be unwise for Mr Hashemi to be turned over by Qatar to Iraq,” says Khalid Mohamed al-Attiyah, Minister of State for International Cooperation. “Diplomatic norms and Tareq Al-Hashemi’s position and the immunity he has prevent Qatar from doing so.”

Al-Hashemi has been in Qatar since 1 April. Prior to this, he had been taking refuge in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq and plans to return once his trip ends. It comes after the Gulf state sent a low-key delegation to the Arab League Summit held in Baghdad on 29 March in protest to Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s treatment of the country’s Sunni majority.

Al-Hashemi has denied the charges against him, which includes running a death squad, and refuses to return to Baghdad fearing an unfair trial.