Dr. Sahar Al-Ta’i addresses peace conference in Iraq, Sept. 24, 2021. (MEMRI/Youtube/Screenshot) (MEMRI/Youtube/Screenshot)
Dr. Sahar Al-Ta’i

Authorities say they plan to arrest all peace conference attendees once their identities are established.

By United with Israel Staff

Iraq’s federal government condemned a conference demanding normalization with Israel and to be included in the Abraham Accords.

Organized by the Center for Peace Communications, a US-based think tank, the conference, held Friday in Erbil, the capital of northern Iraq’s Kurdistan autonomous region, ended with a call for Iraq to join the Abraham accords and normalize ties with Israel.

An estimated 250 people attended the event, which was broadcast live on social media.

Israel extends its hand back in peace,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted Saturday night in response, but Iraq’s federal government called the conference “illegal” and labeled the participants as “traitors.”

On Sunday, arrest warrants were issued to tribal leader Wissam al-Hardan, Culture Ministry official Sahar al-Tai, and former MP Mithal al-Alusi. The latter, an activist for peace, was not at the conference.

Authorities say they plan to arrest all attendees once their identities are established.

Al-Ta’i, head of Research at the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, said that Iraq should recognize Israel as a friendly country, MEMRI reported.

Al-Ta’I also announced the establishment of seven committees to promote peace with Israel, including one that would focus on the lost Jewish property in Iraq.

Al-Hardan called for reconciliation with Israel in an op-ed published Friday in the Wall Street Journal. He also referenced the history of Jews in Iraq, dating back to 586 B.C.

“Through their forced migration, Iraq effectively cut one of its own principal veins,” he said. “Yet we draw hope from the knowledge that most Iraqi Jews managed to rebuild their lives, passing their traditions to their children and grandchildren in Israel.”