Foreign Minister: Iraq has achieved great progress that led in 2019 to be delisted from the global list of International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT process
Foreign Minister Mr. Fuad Hussein stated that “Iraq notes with regret the European Commission proposed revised list of “high risk” countries on money laundering and the financing of terrorism
Adding that “ Iraq has achieved great progress that led in 2019 to be delisted from the global list of International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT process”
Noting that Iraq has taken several measures to strengthen its legal framework and led to increased cooperation with its counterparts, and that Iraq has fully participated and has worked closely with the Commission since its adoption of the previous regulations mandated by the European Union Commission 1675/2016 in 2016.
The Minister expressed his surprise that the justification provided by the committee for its decision on Iraq, and stated that competent authorities have been working closely over the past two years to provide the necessary and relevant information through official channels on meeting the requirements of the European Union to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
This came in a letter sent to his counterparts, European Union ministers.
The Minister affirmed that Iraq had met the criteria set by the Financial Action Group (FATF), and the criteria stipulated in the relevant European Union directive 849/2015, and had addressed all the shortcomings and gaps highlighted by the Commission, and had not received any negative response from the Commission until the adoption of the regulations mentioned in May 7.
The Minister called on the Commission to be transparent and the need to listen to the clear commitment shown by Iraq to the standards related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Minister stressed that over the years Iraq has implemented important laws and procedures, in order to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and mitigate the risks associated with it. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) report indicated that the AML / CFT safeguards in Iraq are strong and well established.
The Minister warned that the Commission’s decision, if not rejected by the Council of the European Union, will have a detrimental economic and social impact on Iraq, and will affect cooperation with member states of the European Union in accordance with the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Iraq and the European Union.
The letter concluded by calling on European counterparts to reject the proposed delegated regulation.