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Iraq reaffirms support for Palestine, categorically rejects normalization with Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein speaks during the 17th IISS Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital Manama, on November 20, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has reiterated Baghdad’s support for the Palestinian cause, stressing that the Arab country categorically rejects any normalization scheme with the Israeli regime.

“We renew the stance of the Foreign Ministry, as it was known, Iraq’s firm and supportive stance towards the Palestinian cause and the implementation of the full legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the categorical rejection of the issue of normalization with Israel,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf said in a statement carried by Iraqi News Agency on Sunday.

Sahaf noted that Foreign Minister Hussein has underscored the Palestinian people’s rights and Iraq’s rejection of any form of normalization with Tel Aviv during the IISS Manama Dialogue forum and other international meetings.

The foreign minister has stressed “his saying of ‘No to Normalization’, whether in al-Manama conference or in several televised interviews,” the spokesman noted.

At issue was Hussein’s interview with an Israeli channel on the sidelines of the Manama Dialogue forum, which drew strong reactions inside Iraq due to the fact that the top Iraqi official had accepted to be interviewed by Israeli media.

A senior leader of Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement denounced the decision as an “unjustifiable” action that amounts to support for the Israeli regime.

“This action took place after the events that demonstrated the opposition of the free societies to this terrorist and criminal regime,” Nasr al-Shammari, deputy secretary-general and spokesman of the group, wrote in a tweet.

However, according to Sahaf, the Israeli TV channel that interviewed Hussein had used the name of another media channel.

The Iraqi spokesman then denounced the channel for impersonating another media outlet.

During the interview with i24NEWS, Hussein was asked about the possibility of Iraq joining the normalization accords. “I don’t think so,” he responded. “There are many reasons... Iraq is not going to be part of this accord.”

The so-called Abraham Accords, also known as normalization deals, 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.

Palestinians have denounced the normalization deals, describing them as a “stab in the back” and a “betrayal” to their cause.

Back in September, the Iraqi government and resistance groups in the Arab country censured a conference held by a US think tank in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, during which various participants urged Baghdad to join the normalization scheme and normalize relations with Israel.

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