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Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to join the Financial Action

Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after its Plenary Meeting agreed to grant the Kingdom full membership of the group at a meeting held in Orlando this week.

Saudi Arabia’s accession comes as FATF celebrates its 30th anniversary and the first meeting it held in Paris in 1989.

The approval came after the submission of reports on the tangible progress made by the Kingdom, which outlined the measures and efforts that Saudi Arabia has made in implementing the Action Plan approved by FATF, an inter-governmental body that is fighting money laundering globally.

The Kingdom has been a founding member of the Middle East & North Africa Financial Action Task Force since November 2004. In 2015, the Kingdom received an invitation from FATF to join the Group as an observer.

The invitation was made in recognition of the Kingdom’s international and regional status, its efforts and measures in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation of arms, its compliance with international standards and requirements, and its commitment to all relevant international and bilateral conventions.

The Kingdom obtained an observer status in the Group in June 2015. In June 2018, the Kingdom completed the mutual evaluation process. It proved the effectiveness and efficiency of the control measures carried out by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation. The results revealed the high level of effectiveness and efficiency of the control procedures.

The Kingdom’s accession to FATF is in line with its efforts and financial and economic programs to achieve 2030 vision, which contributes to supporting the development of the national economy and enhancing the efficiency of the financial sector, which is one of the important objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance.

With the accession of the Kingdom, the number of FATF members increased to 39, among which are influential countries, such as the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and most Group of 20 states.

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