Dr. Sahar Al-Ta'i, Head of Research at the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, said that Iraq should recognize Israel as a friendly country. Dr. Al-Ta'i was speaking at the Conference for Peace and Reconciliation that was held in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 24. According to media reports, some 250 people participated in the conference that was organized by the American organization, Center for Peace Communication. "We want peace with Israel," said Dr. Al-Ta'i, who added that Iraq should join the Abraham Accords. Dr. Al-Ta'i also delivered the closing statement for the conference, in which she declared the establishment of seven committees to promote the ideas presented in the conference, including a committee that would focus on the lost Jewish property in Iraq, and a committee for exporting the ideas of conference to other Arab countries.
Dr. Sahar Al-Ta'i: "We will continue to stand by the victims of the Holocaust, by the victims of 9/11, by the victims of the Nice [terror attack], by the victims of the Camp Speicher [massacre], by the victims of the Karrada [bombing], and by the victims everywhere in the world. Based on our rejection of all forms of terrorism, all manifestations of violence, and the policy of exclusion and marginalization on racial or religious grounds, we reach out for peace with all the countries in the world.
"As you know, Israel today is a powerful country. It constitutes an inseparable part of the United Nations and the world. Iraq must not neglect this fact. It must not live in seclusion from the world, and it must not be the minion of anybody. Iraq was the cradle of civilizations and humanity, and it will continue to be the world's beating heart. As such, Iraq today must change its policy. For the sake of peace in the region, it has become imperative to recognize Israel as a friendly country, especially since about half a million Israelis are of Iraqi origins. Their eyes are still turned towards Iraq, like a mother longing for her children. They are still waiting for the moment when Israel is recognized as their country and the country of their compatriots. The historical truth that is clear as say to everybody in the world is that the origins and roots of all the Jews in the world are in Iraq. Iraq will not give up on anybody. Iraq will not abandon the Israelis, just as it will not abandon the Palestinians... Iraq will not abandon the Israelis, just as it will not abandon the Palestinians. The peace project that we are embracing does not contradict the interests of the Palestinian people. On the contrary, we see peace as the one and only way that would enable the Palestinian people to build state institutions, and to provide opportunity for a better life for the future generations.
"We are the pioneers and the first seeds of the peace project in Iraq. We want peace with ourselves. We want peace with Israel. We want peace with all the countries of the world.
"It is our duty to turn words into deeds. In order to provide a framework for the implementation of the goals of this conference, we announce the establishment of seven committees: A committee for connecting Iraqi communities, whose goal is to deal with the rift between Iraq and its Jewish communities in Israel and the West, by formulating new policies to deal with the lost [Jewish] property, as well as with reviving religious pilgrimage, and sponsoring new friendships and partnerships among the youth. A committee for trade and investments, whose goals are to implement Iraq's interests, by joining the framework of the Abraham Accords, and incorporating directing directly the Emirati-Israeli economic and trade exchanges. A committee for cultural reform whose goal is to strike new partnerships, in order to recover the complete and objective history of Iraq and incorporate it in the school curricula.
"A committee for legislative partnership and reform whose goal is to revoke the so-called anti-normalization laws, and to put forward new laws and programs that will enhance the human ties between the people in different nations. A committee for peace communications, whose goal is to bring together experts from the printed press, radio, and TV, in order to develop joint programs for the bolstering of a peace-making mentality. A committee for cultural cooperation, whose goal is to promote artistic cooperation between Iraqis and Israelis, in music, cinema, television, theater, plastic art, and the arts in general. A committee for health services, whose goal is to meet the interests of the health sector in Iraq, through partnership with its Israeli counterpart, in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, as well as other health and medical challenges facing our country. A committee for the exporting of peace, whose goal is to contact and hold a dialogue with all the movements that share our ideas in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and all over the world."