BAGHDAD – The Governments of Iraq and the United States of America held their first meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) for Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation under the auspices of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.
The JCC meeting, held over the weekend, was co-chaired by the Honorable Medhat al-Mahmoud, the Chief Justice and President of the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council (HJC), and U.S Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.
The meeting builds on efforts to enable an enduring strategic partnership to increase capacity in Judicial Security, Detentions, and the Police Development Program.
Chief Justice Medhat underscored Iraq's commitment to the Strategic Framework Agreement and hailed the close cooperation between the Department of Justice and the HJC in the field of the rule of law, protection of judges, and court security. He also praised the Embassy’s efforts to introduce modern technology to some Iraqi courts and its positive effects on expediting the judicial process.
Deputy Attorney General Cole reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the Iraqi people. “The great progress that has been made toward the goals of our Strategic Framework Agreement should encourage us to persist in meeting the challenges of what remains to be done in Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation,” he told the committee members. Mr. Cole highlighted that, “As we all know, effective rule of law critically underpins” the goals of the Strategic Framework Agreement, and “sets the rules for the political process; it sustains the framework of national unity, and it secures the range of property rights essential to economic prosperity.”
The heads and representatives of the principal law enforcement and rule of law ministries and agencies from the Governments of Iraq and the United States discussed current areas of cooperation and particular challenges that will require robust collaboration in the future, including in the areas of detentions, police development, and judicial security.
The two sides agreed to continue efforts to expand cooperation across Iraq’s law enforcement and judicial sectors under the auspices of the Strategic Framework Agreement and pursue together a shared vision of a long-term, multidimensional bilateral relationship that contributes to growing peace and prosperity in Iraq and security and stability in the Middle East.