Turkey’s Erdogan plans state visit to Germany

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Angela Merkel face a relationship-building exercise after ties soured over Turkey’s crackdown and its detention of German citizens and journalists after a failed coup in 2016. (Reuters)
Updated 27 July 2018
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Turkey’s Erdogan plans state visit to Germany

  • It will be Erdogan’s first official visit to Germany since 2014 – his first since taking over the Turkish presidency
  • The Turkish government has purged more than 150,000 civil servants and charged 77,000 people since the failed coup

BERLIN: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a state visit to Germany, probably around late September, German newspaper Bild reported in Saturday editions, citing government sources in Berlin and Ankara.
It would be Erdogan’s first official visit to Germany since 2014, and his first since taking over the Turkish presidency, the mass circulation daily said.
Plans for the visit reflect efforts to rebuild relations between Germany and Turkey after ties soured in a series of disputes over Turkey’s crackdown after a failed coup in 2016 and its detention of German citizens and journalists.
A state visit includes a reception by the German president with military honors and a formal state banquet.
No immediate comment was available from the German or Turkish governments.
Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in January said he had agreed with his counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to do everything possible to improve ties between the NATO allies and trading partners.
German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who works for the publisher of Bild, was released in February after being held for a year on alleged security offenses.
His release removed a key irritant in ties between the two allies, but German officials remain deeply concerned about Turkey’s deteriorating record on human rights and freedoms.
Another German national was arrested in southeastern Turkey this week accused of spreading propaganda for Turkish militants, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.
The Turkish government has purged more than 150,000 civil servants and charged 77,000 people since the failed coup. It has also launched cross-border operations into Syria against what it says are terrorist threats by the Kurdish YPG militia, which it deems a terrorist organization linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern over the crackdown, saying President Tayyip Erdogan has used the putsch as a pretext to muzzle dissent. The government says the measures are necessary.


Pakistan gets six more months to ‘fix’ anti-money laundering laws : Ministry of Finance

Updated 13 min 49 sec ago
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Pakistan gets six more months to ‘fix’ anti-money laundering laws : Ministry of Finance

  • APG will visit Pakistan in March-April next year for another on-site review
  • Traders say Pakistan can increase its annual remittances from $20 billion to $40 billion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has got six more months from the Asia Pacific Group (APG) — an arm of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — to “fix” its anti-money laundering laws and take effective measures to curb terror financing and illegal remittances.

“The APG delegation has pointed out lacunae in our different laws and we will plug them all soon through proper legislation,” Noor Ahmed, special secretary Ministry of Finance, told Arab News.
“Our institutions have explained their positions and actions taken so far to curb money laundering in their meetings with the APG delegation,” he said. “We have noted their recommendations as well.”
Pakistani officials, however, did not give details of what recommendations had been proposed by the APG delegation.
Pakistan was placed on the FATF “gray list” in June this year by the global watchdog in Paris after a review of the monitoring report of the International Cooperation Review Group.
This is the second visit by the FATF team in the past three months. In August, a FATF team visited Islamabad for a similar assessment.
Last week a Pakistani delegation also participated in an FATF meeting in Paris, to apprise the global watchdog about efforts to get off the “gray-list.”
Earlier, Pakistan and the FATF had also negotiated a 10-point action plan to be implemented by September 2019 to get off the gray list.
“We have got six more months to make our systems more robust and as per the international standard,” Saeed Javed, director general (media) of Finance Ministry, told Arab News.
He said that the APG would visit Pakistan in March-April next year for another on-site review and check the progress made in light of the group’s recommendations.
The FATF is an intergovernmental body established in July 1989 during a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Paris.
Its objectives are to set standards and promote the effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
Dr. Farrukh Saleem, the government’s focal person on economy, earlier told Arab News that the government had finalized amendments in laws including the Federal Investigation Agency Act 1974, the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947, the Customs Act 1969, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010, to strengthen its financial system.
“The amendments proposed in these laws will be presented to the prime minister and cabinet for approval,” he said.