Iraq has called on the European Commission to exclude the state from the list of third countries that launder money and finance terrorism, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
The foreign ministry said this in the wake of a meeting between Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrel.
The meeting between the two high-ranking officials took place on Wednesday in the Brussels-based European Commission headquarters.
Both countries discussed cooperation between Baghdad and the EU countries, as well as issues of mutual concern and the parliamentary elections that are scheduled to be held in Iraq in June 2021.
“The two sides discussed the issue of removing Iraq from the European Commission’s list of high-risk countries in the field of money laundering and terrorist financing.
“And also renewed inviting the relevant authorities in the commission to accelerate dialogue with the concerned technical authorities in Iraq in order to complete the evaluation of Iraq’s performance in this field, and remove it from this list,” the ministry said in an official statement.
Fuad, in turn, extended an invitation to Borrel to pay a visit to Iraq “at the earliest possible opportunity” to talk about strengthening bilateral ties, the statement read.
The Iraqi minister has praised the EU efforts to provide political and economic assistance to the country, especially to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.
And it also reiterated Baghdad’s commitment to the principle of respecting the sovereignty of other states and not interfering in their internal affairs.
Iraq was included in the list of the countries that have significant deficiencies in their fight against money laundering and terrorism financing back in October 2016.
The legislation requires the EU to identify third states with such a strategy, as it poses a major threat to the EU financial system.