BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has renounced his British citizenship since assuming office last week, three government officials close to the premier said Sunday.
According to the officials, who declined to be named because they are not authorized to discuss the matter, al-Abadi surrendered his British passport after his government was officially approved by parliament on Sept. 8.
Iraq's constitution stipulates that an Iraqi citizen may hold multiple passports. However, anyone who assumes a senior security or government position must abandon any other acquired citizenship.
Officials with the British embassy in Baghdad and the Home and Foreign offices in London declined to comment.
Al-Abadi moved to the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, where he pursued a PhD at the University of Manchester. He later went on to become the Britain-based spokesman for his Islamic Dawa Party, and would spend more than 20 years in exile in the U.K. before returning to Iraq following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Associated Press writers Vivian Salama in Baghdad and Greg Katz in London contributed to this report.