'Strengthening bilateral relations between Arab countries'

Iraq, Lebanon ink deal to combat corruption, recover illicit funds

BAGHDAD — On Wednesday, Iraq and Lebanon fortified their collaboration against corruption through a memorandum aimed at preventing and combating corruption, recovering smuggled assets, and facilitating the extradition of convicts. Haider Hanoun, the President of the Federal Integrity Commission of Iraq, highlighted the imperative of cross-border cooperation in these endeavors.

At the signing ceremony, Hanoun remarked, “Strengthening bilateral relations between Arab countries will have a positive impact on several issues, including the fight against corruption and cooperation in the recovery of smuggled funds and the extradition of convicts.” He emphasized that international cooperation is essential to block corrupt individuals from escaping justice.

Hanoun praised the partnership with Lebanon, stating, “The Iraqi Integrity Commission supports the National Anti-Corruption Commission in Lebanon and offers its accumulated expertise.” He elaborated on the significance of combating corruption as a cornerstone of Iraq’s international relations, asserting, “Achieving success in this regard represents a reflection of the country’s political work and new policy.”

Reflecting on the deep-rooted connection between the Iraqi and Lebanese people, Hanoun underscored the detrimental impact of corruption on society and the economy. “The tasks of the commission vary according to its effective law, ranging from investigative and deterrent tasks to preventive and educational ones,” he added, expressing the commission’s readiness to assist Lebanon and benefit from its vast experience.

From the Lebanese perspective, Judge Claude Karam, head of the Lebanese National Anti-Corruption Authority, expressed optimism about the collaboration, hoping to benefit from Iraq’s experience in combating and preventing corruption. Karam highlighted Lebanon’s recent initiatives in establishing the National Anti-Corruption Authority and enacting anti-corruption laws, stating that Lebanon’s efforts in preventing and combating corruption through investigative and inquiry procedures in corruption cases are part of a broader strategy to enhance public service integrity and ethics.