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Iraqi govt slams 'illegal meeting' in Erbil that called for normalization with Israel

i24NEWS

clock 2 min read

Iraqis attend the conference of peace and reclamation organized by US think-tank Center for Peace Communications (CPC) in Arbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on September 24, 2021.
Safin Hamed/AFPIraqis attend the conference of peace and reclamation organized by US think-tank Center for Peace Communications (CPC) in Arbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on September 24, 2021.

Certain Baghdad officials branded the participants 'traitors'

Iraq's federal government on Saturday condemned a conference calling for normalization with Israel, held the previous day in Arbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region.

A statement dismissed the gathering, organized by US think-tank Center for Peace Communications (CPC), as an "illegal meeting."

The conference "was not representative of the population's (opinion) and that of residents in Iraqi cities, in whose name these individuals purported to speak," the statement said.

The office of Iraq's President Barham Saleh, himself a Kurd, joined in the condemnation.

Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr urged the government to "arrest all the participants", while Ahmed Assadi, an MP with the ex-paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi, branded them "traitors in the eyes of the law."

The 300 participants at the conference came from across Iraq, according to CPC founder Joseph Braude, a US citizen of Iraqi Jewish origin, while speakers at included Chemi Peres, the head of an Israeli foundation established by his father, the late president Shimon Peres.