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250 prominent Iraqis publicly call for full peace with Israel

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24.09.2021

Hundreds of Iraqi leaders and activists gathered in the country’s Kurdistan region on Friday to publicly call for full normalization with Israel.

The group, which includes Sunni and Shiites, youth activists and tribal leaders, said the next step after the dramatic announcement would be to seek “face-to-face talks” with Israelis.

The 250 Iraqi men and women issued their statements from a hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region. The conference was organized by the New York-based Center for Peace Communications, which works to advance engagement between Arabs and Israelis, and to protect activists supporting normalization.

The Times of Israel is covering developments from the conference as they happen.

One of the speakers explained that the group believes in peace with Israel “so that we might live in a stable region that brings conflicts to an end. We believe in it because we want our region to be a peaceful one, in which Israel is an inseparable part of the panoramic whole, and in which all peoples have the right to live in security.”

“We demand that Iraq join the Abraham Accords internationally,” wrote Wisam al-Hardan, leader of the Sons of Iraq Awakening movement, in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. “We call for full diplomatic relations with Israel and a new policy of mutual development and prosperity.”

The Sons of Iraq formed organically in 2005 as tribal leaders in Anbar province and ex-Iraqi Army officers allied with US forces to fight al-Qaeda.

“Some of us have faced down ISIS and al-Qaeda on the battlefield,” wrote Hardan. “Through blood and tears we have long demonstrated that we oppose all extremists, whether Sunni jihadists or Iran-backed Shi’ite militias. We have also demonstrated our patriotism: We sacrificed lives for the sake of a unified Iraq, aspiring to realize a federal system of government as stipulated in our nation’s constitution.”

Calling the expulsion of Iraq’s Jews “the most........

© The Times of Israel


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