Iraq's federal government on Saturday condemned a conference that took place on Friday in Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region and in which prominent Shiite and Sunni leaders urged Iraq to make peace with Israel.
A statement dismissed the gathering, organized by US think-tank Center for Peace Communications (CPC), as an "illegal meeting", according to a report in i24NEWS.
The conference "was not representative of the population's (opinion) and that of residents in Iraqi cities, in whose name these individuals purported to speak," the statement said.
The office of Iraq's President Barham Saleh, himself a Kurd, joined in the condemnation.
Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr urged the government to "arrest all the participants", while Ahmed Assadi, an MP with the ex-paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi, branded them "traitors in the eyes of the law."
At Friday’s conference, held in the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the leaders and former generals in the Iraqi army demanded that Iraq join the US-brokered "Abraham Accords", which were signed last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The conference, which was broadcast live on several social media networks, featured, among others, Chemi Peres, the son of the late President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who spoke in Hebrew about the need for peace.
While the Abraham Accords were an initiative of former US President Donald Trump, they have been backed by the Biden administration as well.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said shortly after he took office that the Biden administration supports the Abraham Accords.
A later report indicated that the Biden administration is laying the groundwork for a renewed push to encourage more Arab countries to sign accords with Israel, in a rare carryover of a signature Trump administration policy by and other Democrats.