The Iraqi anti-terror Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group has called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to issue arrest warrants against attendees of a recent conference in the semi-autonomous region, which was organized by a US think tank and demanded normalization of relations with Israel.
“The KRG was aware of the Friday meeting in Erbil, and what happened there. No one can convince us to believe the Kurdistan Regional Government was not in touch,” Saad al-Saadi, a spokesman for the group, told the Arabic service of Fars news agency on Monday.
He added that the KRG, which is the official executive body of the Kurdistan region, tends to take decisions independent from the Baghdad government, and does not show full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty.
“The KRG must issue arrest warrants against attendees of the meeting. Otherwise, it is complicit in what contravened the principles of the Iraqi constitution and must assume full responsibility,” Saadi pointed out.
On Friday, more than 300 Iraqi men and women attended a conference in a hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, during which they demanded that Baghdad join the so-called Abraham Accords and normalize relations with Israel.
The Abraham Accords were signed at the White House in September 2020 between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Morocco and Sudan later signed normalization agreements with the Israeli regime as well.
The Friday conference was organized by the New York-based Center for Peace Communications, and was welcomed by Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid as “a hopeful event.”
The Kurdistan Regional Government has condemned the Erbil meeting, stressing it supports the Iraqi government in rejecting establishment of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.
“A civil society organization hosted a workshop in Erbil for various personalities from some Iraqi provinces to examine the concepts of coexistence and implementation of federal principles in Iraq under the constitution. Unfortunately, some of the organizers stepped away from the goals of the workshop, and used it to advance their own interests. They violated the conditions for obtaining a license to hold such workshops,” the KRG’s Interior Ministry said in a statement released on Saturday.
It added, “The comments made at the workshop are in no way in line with the official policy of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and do not reflect the policy of the region.”
“The KRG’s Interior Ministry will take legal actions against those who strayed the summit from its original path, and will punish the perpetrators whoever they are,” the statement noted.
On Sunday, a court in Baghdad issued arrest warrants for tribal leader Wisam al-Hardan, former lawmaker Mithal al-Alousi, and Sahar Kareem al-Taie, an employee at the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement.
They participated in what the Iraqi government called an “illegal meeting” held in Erbil.
The statement added that the judicial council will take legal measures against the other participants in the Erbil meeting once authorities got their full names.
Hamas lauds Iraq’s stance on rejecting normalization with Israel
Meanwhile, the Hamas resistance movement praised the positions of Iraqi political factions, civil society organizations, scholars and tribal elders on rejecting normalization of ties with Israel, and their support for Palestinian people, plus their legitimate cause and resistance.
“Such stances exhibit the genuine affection of Iraq and its brotherly nation towards Palestine and our people. We once again express our deep appreciation for the positions of the Iraqi presidency, government and judiciary, which reject attempts seeking normalization of relations with the Zionist enemy, in addition to their support for our nation’s struggle and rights,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement on Monday.