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Iraqi coalition rejects calls for normalisation with Israel

Iraqis attend the conference of peace and reclamation organised by US think-tank Center for Peace Communications (CPC) in Arbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on September 24, 2021. - More than 300 Iraqis, including tribal leaders, attended a conference in autonomous Kurdistan organised by a US think-tank demanding a normalisation of relations between Baghdad and Israel, organisers said. (Photo by Safin HAMED / AFP) (Photo by SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images)
More than 300 Iraqis, including tribal leaders, attended a conference in autonomous Kurdistan organised by a US think-tank demanding a normalisation of relations between Baghdad and Israel, organisers said, on September 24, 2021. [SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images]

An Iraqi coalition on Saturday condemned calls for normalisation with Israel made at a conference in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Anadolu Agency reported.

"We condemn and reject the conferences, gatherings, and calls for normalisation with the usurping Zionist entity that are held inside Iraq," Ammar al-Hakim, the head of the Shia National Wisdom Alliance, said in a statement.

The alliance holds 19 out of 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament.

Al-Hakim said the Palestinian cause is a top Arab and Muslim issue that his alliance will continue to support.

"We renew our full support for the Palestinian people and their just cause and their struggle to recover their usurped right," al-Hakim said.

On Friday, a peace conference was held in Erbil by some Sunni and Shia tribal figures who called for the normalisation of relations between Iraq and Israel.

READ: Prominent Iraq community leaders call for normalisation with Israel

"We are a gathering of Sunnis and Shias, comprising members of the Sunni Awakening Movement of the Sons of Iraq, as well as intellectuals, tribal leaders, and active youth from the protest movement of 2019-2021," a statement by the conference participants said.

It added, "We call for Iraq to enter into relations with Israel and its people through agreements similar to the Arab countries that have normalised."

The statement said that it continues to oppose all Sunni jihadists and Iranian-backed Shia extremists.

Authorities in Baghdad and Erbil have yet to comment on the conference statement.

Iraq does not have relations with Israel and the idea of normalisation is widely rejected in the country.

Last year, four Arab nations – the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco – normalised their relations with Israel, a move denounced by Palestinians as a betrayal to its cause.

READ: The current security threats which challenge Israel

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