Chemi Peres, Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, on Saturday, participated virtually in an event in Erbil, Kurdistan, alongside 300 Sunni community leaders, activists and members of the armed forces, calling for normalization with Israel.

Organized by the New York-based Center for Peace Communications (CPC) this was the first such event of its kind.

Addressing the plenary, Peres used the platform to call to advance the vision of his father, the late Israeli President and statesman Shimon Peres, of normalization and peace across the region.

Calling the event historic and inspirational, Peres described the event as an opportunity to solidify the historical ties between Iraq, or ancient Babylon, and the Jewish people, whose culture was influenced significantly by the ancient Jewish community which once thrived there.

Peres also noted the recent normalization trends as a model which he hopes can positively impact Israeli-Palestinian relations and the prospects for peace.

“Holding such a meeting alongside this initiative serves as an inspiration for many Israelis. As you surely know, many Israelis have deep historical and familial ties to Iraq, my own family included,” Peres said.

“There exists today, and there will continue to be, a deep connection between those residing in the Holy Land and those living in Iraq, the land of the two rivers, where the historic Jewish text, the Babylonian Talmud was written. This is a text which continues to play an enlightening role in the lives of our people to this day.”

The Erbil event was condemned by Iraq's federal government, and on Sunday a Baghdad court issued an arrest warrant for two people who participated in it.