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Iraq Denies Hamas Headquarters Relocation


Baghdad: Hamas Has Not Officially Requested to Move Leadership to Iraq

Tue 25 Jun 2024 | 11:58 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

The Iraqi government has denied recent reports from local and international media about the Palestinian organization Hamas seeking to relocate its leadership headquarters from Doha, Qatar, to Baghdad, Iraq, amidst alleged pressure from Qatar on Hamas leaders to accept ceasefire terms in the Gaza conflict.

For the first time, an official denial came from Fadi Al-Shammari, the political advisor to the Prime Minister, who told Asharq Al-Awsat, "There is no official opening or headquarters as rumored, and we have not received a request for Hamas leaders to relocate or open an official office in Iraq."

Another source close to the government, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, said that the relocation of Hamas leaders Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh to Baghdad is highly unlikely. He confirmed, "Hamas has not requested the Iraqi government to open an office or relocate their headquarters to Baghdad. All such reports are baseless."

Western media had previously reported that the potential relocation was discussed last month by Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh and representatives from the Iraqi and Iranian governments. These reports suggested that Haniyeh and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al-Sudani separately reviewed the relocation plan last month.

An article in the American newspaper The National quoted an Iraqi MP saying, "There is no consensus among Iraqi political groups on Hamas moving to Baghdad, and some, especially the Kurds and some Sunni politicians, fear it could deepen disagreements with the United States."

Iraqi media reported that an "official relations and media office" for Hamas had already been opened in Baghdad with government approvals.