Charles welcomes Iraqi prime minister to Clarence House

The Prince of Wales has welcomed the Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Clarence House.

Heir-to-the-throne Charles was pictured smiling and gesturing with his hands as he stood more than two metres apart from the former intelligence chief in an antique-filled room in his official London residence.

Charles and the Iraqi prime minister appeared on good terms during the socially distanced meeting.

Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi visits UK
Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi visits UK

The prince’s room was filled with an array of ornaments including two china cockerels, an ornate golden clock, a wide collection of plates and crystal candelabra.

Mr al-Kadhimi is an ex-journalist who served as head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service from 2016 until May 2020, when he was tasked with forming a government.

The approval of a new government ended months of deadlock as Iraq battled an economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prince of Wales met Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, right, and Iraqi minister of foreign affairs Fuad Hussein
The Prince of Wales met Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, right, and Iraqi minister of foreign affairs Fuad Hussein

Thousands of people were taking to the streets of Baghdad and other cities before the Covid-19 outbreak to express anger at corruption, high unemployment, poor public services and foreign interference.

In September, a roadside bombing targeted British diplomatic vehicles in Baghdad.

There were no injuries but the attack fuelled concerns over armed groups outside of the state’s control.