Saudi Arabia notes with regret the European Commission proposed revised list of “high risk” countries on money laundering and the financing of terrorism despite its comprehensive framework and increased cooperation with EU counterparts*

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia notes with regret the European Commission proposed revised list of "high risk" countries on money laundering and the financing of terrorism released on 13th February, 2019 that includes Saudi Arabia despite several measures of reinforcement of its legal framework which has led to increased cooperation with its counterparts. The Kingdom reaffirms that it is strongly committed to the common fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, a commitment that it shares with its international partners and allies.

Saudi Arabia - a member of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS and co-chair, with United States and Italy, of the CIFG (the counter ISIS financing working group ) - has implemented over the years important laws and procedures with the aim of fighting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing and mitigating associated risks.

In addition, the Mutual Evaluation Report on Saudi Arabia, published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in September 2018, commended Saudi Arabia on the level of its technical compliance with the FATF's recommendations. The FATF report shows that the Kingdom's anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) preventive measures are strong and well established. The Kingdom has furthermore an established legal framework and co-ordination process for implementing UN targeted financial sanctions on terrorism without delay.

The Minister of Finance, H.E Mohammed Al-Jadaan said, "Saudi Arabia's commitment to fighting money laundering and terrorism financing is a strategic priority for the Kingdom. We will continue to develop and enhance our regulatory framework to achieve this goal. We note the proposed revised list is subject to approval of both the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

Al-Jadaan called on the European Commission officials and members of the European Parliament to visit Riyadh and observe the continuous efforts and initiatives taken by the Kingdom at the local, regional and international levels in the fight against terrorism-financing, and money laundering. Saudi Arabia will continue to communicate with the Commission and looks forward to a constructive dialogue with its partners in the European Union to contribute to strengthening and supporting the means of countering money laundering and terrorism at the international and regional levels.

Source: Saudi Press Agency