Iraq on Wednesday declared that its laws prohibited it from normalizing relations with Israel, responding to reports that Israel was preparing to open an embassy in Baghdad.

Government spokesman Ahmed Mulla Talal told reporters that Iraq would not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, referring to the UAE’s recent agreement with Israel to normalize relations.

Earlier this month, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize their relations, including opening embassies in each other’s countries.

Following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, the UAE will be the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

Palestinian groups have denounced the deal, saying it ignores the rights of Palestinians and does not serve the Palestinian cause.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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