BAGHDAD (TASS): The scandal broke out this weekend in Iraq after a group of local politicians, tribal leaders and representatives of a number of ethnic and religious groups in the country publicly called for a complete normalization of relations with Israel. As reported on Saturday by the news portal Shafaq news , this event, unprecedented by Iraqi standards, has already caused a lot of criticism from all branches of the republic’s government, its political and religious elite.
A conference called Peace and Reconstruction, convened in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, attracted some 300 delegates and was organized by the New York-based Peace Communications Center, which advocates the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab countries.
In particular, it was attended by emissaries of a number of Sunni and Shiite communities from Baghdad, Mosul, Anbar, Babil and Salah al-Din, tribal sheikhs, representatives of the intelligentsia and political circles of the country, as well as youth activists who took an active part in the protest movement in 2019 -2021 years.
“We demand that Iraq have normal relations with Israel on the basis of the Abrahamic Accords,” the petition of the audience said. In addition, the meeting participants recalled that some of them fought against the terrorist groups Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and said they oppose “all extremists, Sunni jihadists and Iranian-backed Shiite militias.”
The Iraqi government on Saturday has already declared its “firm rejection of these illegitimate meetings.”
“Such gatherings do not represent the inhabitants of our dear Iraqi cities, and these individuals are desperate to speak on their behalf, but they represent only themselves,” the Cabinet of Ministers said in a statement. while all Iraqis prepare for early and fair elections [Oct 10]. “
In the communiqué, the government recalled that even the very initiative or concept of normalizing relations with the Jewish state “constitutionally, legally and politically” is rejected in Iraq.
“We want to reiterate our consistent historical position based on supporting the just cause of the Palestinians and protecting their right to an independent state with the capital in East Jerusalem, therefore we consider all forms of settlements, aggression and occupation by Israel against the brotherly Palestinian people unacceptable,” the statement reads. …
The Interior Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government reported that the conference was held “without the knowledge and participation” of the local authorities and “in no way reflects their position.” The department promised to figure out how this happened.
The office of Iraqi President Barham Saleh said it “rejects any attempts to establish relations with Israel,” and the influential Shiite imam Muqtada al-Sadr, calling the Erbil rally a “Zionist terrorist assembly”, called on the authorities to arrest all its participants.
In turn, Iraqi national security adviser Qasem al-Araji described the calls for normalization as a “hostile project” and informed that, in coordination with the Kurdish region, “its initiators will be held accountable in accordance with the law.”
On September 15, 2020, in Washington, the Israeli side, with the active mediation of the United States, signed documents on the normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain. The tripartite deal has been called the “Abrahamic Accords” in the West.
Then Sudan and Morocco announced the normalization of relations with Israel. Before the conclusion of peace with the UAE and Bahrain, the Jewish state from the Arab countries had diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan.