Lebanon, Iraq to boost legal, judicial cooperation


 Lebanon and Iraq have agreed to bolster legal and judicial cooperation between their Justice ministries, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The cooperation, agreed upon during a meeting between Lebanese Justice Minister Henri Khoury and his visiting Iraqi counterpart Salar Abdul Sattar Muhammad on Wednesday, includes judicial notifications, penal fields and extradition issues between the two countries, according to NNA.

“The Iraqi and Lebanese Justice ministries have authentic and deep-rooted relations … We must collaborate, cooperate and support each other in international and regional forums and in the League of Arab States,” said Muhammad.

For his part, Khoury said his Ministry’s relation with the Iraqi Justice Ministry and the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq is very special, highlighting Lebanon’s aspiration to “further consolidate these ties in the near future,” Xinhua news agency reported.

Last week, the World Bank warned that Lebanon will face significant challenges in running its state institutions and maintaining social peace if the country fails to undertake a comprehensive reform.

“Despite early warnings, Lebanon has lost precious time and numerous opportunities to adopt a path to reform its economic and financial system,” Xinhua news agency quoted World Bank Mashreq Regional Director Saroj Kumar Jha quoted as saying in a statement.

“The cost of inaction is colossal not only on the daily lives of citizens, but also on the future of the Lebanese people,” Jha added.

Failing basic public services, rising unemployment and severely dented human resources have become the “long-lasting scars” on the Lebanese economy and society because of the country’s enduring crisis, the statement said.

The World Bank statement came less than a week after the Lebanese pound sank to a new historic low on the parallel market amid the country’s unprecedented financial crisis.

Meanwhile recently, the Iraqi Parliament had passed a bill to criminalise institutions, officials and ordinary people for normalising relations with Israel.

A statement issued by Parliament said that 275 lawmakers voted unanimously to pass the bill.

The bill is supposed to preserve the principles of the Iraqi people in defending Palestine and its people as well as the Arab peoples, whose lands are occupied by the Jewish state, the statement added.

It aims to deter all those working on normalising or establishing relations with Israel.

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The bill also prohibits Iraqis from travelling to Israel and having any kind of communications with the country, or they will face harsh penalties of up to life imprisonment and death penalty on violations, according to some articles of the new law revealed by local media.

The approval comes weeks after Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on the members of the Sadrist Movement, which won the largest number of seats in last year’s elections, to formulate such a bill.

In September 2021, the Iraqi government announced its opposition to normalising its relations with Israel.

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