20:57 GMT09 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The head of the Iraqi parliament, Mohamed al-Habousi, has decided to form a parliamentary committee to investigate the situation regarding Iraqi delegations' alleged trips to Israel, Alsumaria TV reported on Thursday.

    "The head of the Council of Representatives, Mohamed al-Habousi, decreed that a committee made of security and defence and international affairs [committees' representatives] be formed to investigate the statements about Iraqi delegations' visits to Israel," a source in the Iraqi parliament said, as quoted by Alsumaria TV channel.

    The decision followed the Israeli Hadashot newspaper's report, published on January 7, saying that three delegations from Iraq had visited Israel in the past several months. In total, 15 influential people from Iraq, including both Sunni and Shiite religious leaders, as well as representatives of Iraqi Kurdistan visited the country. The delegations reportedly met with Israeli officials and university professors and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

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    Like the majority of Arab states, Iraq had long opposed the existence of the state of Israel, refusing to have diplomatic relations with the country. Technically, the two countries are currently at war, as no formal peace agreement was reached after the war of 1973, when Iraq aligned with other Arab states to attack Israel.

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