May 15, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11331

U.S.-Designated Terrorist, Leader Of Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haqq, Qais Al-Khazali Met With Chinese Ambassador To Iraq

May 15, 2024
Iraq, China | Special Dispatch No. 11331

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On May 13, 2024, Qais Al-Khazali, U.S.-designated terrorist and leader of the Iran-backed Iraqi Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haqq militia, met with Chinese ambassador to Iraq, Cui Wei.[1] On the same day, Al-Khazali's media office posted photographs of the meeting on his Telegram channel, stating that the two met at Al-Khazali's office in Baghdad and discussed the bilaterial relations between their countries and the tightening of their economic cooperation. It should be noted that in January 2020, the U.S. declared both Al-Khazali and his brother Laith Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).[2]

Al-Khazali's media office reported that at the meeting the militia leader expressed his appreciation of China's support for the Palestinian issue and its opposition to "the crimes of the Zionist entity" against the Palestinian people in Gaza. For his part, the ambassador praised "the national positions of the sheikh Al-Khazali with respect to all the issues related to Iraq and the region, as well as his role in providing assistance to the political process in the country."

This is not the first meeting between Al-Khazali and the Chinese ambassador to Iraq. Similar meetings were held on June 27, 2022,[3] and on March 5, 2018,[4] and a May 14, 2024 report in the London-based Al-Arab daily stated that the Chinese ambassador to Iraq had recently held a series of meetings with numerous public figures and senior officials in Iraq. Among these were reportedly the heads of political parties and the leaders of armed factions. These meetings took place at the same time as China accelerated its efforts, with the encouragement of Iran, to increase its investments in Iraq in the spheres of oil and gas,[5] and alongside China's utilization of the Iran-backed militias that have been designated as terrorist groups by the U.S., to secure its growing economic interests in the country.[6]



[1] Telegram, May 13, 2024.

[2], January 3, 2020

[3] Telegram, June 27, 2022.

[4] Telegram, March 5, 2018.

[5] Alarab, May 14, 2024.

[6] See MEMRI JTTM Report: China's Diplomacy Utilizes U.S. Designated Iran-Backed Militias To Secure Its Growing Economic Interests In Iraq, July 28, 2023.

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