Saudi Arabia becomes first Arab country to be granted full FATF membership

Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force following the group’s AGM in Orlando. (Facebook)
Updated 23 June 2019

Saudi Arabia becomes first Arab country to be granted full FATF membership

  • Saudi Arabia had been a founding member of the MENA arm of the group since November 2004
  • Saudi Arabia received an invitation from FATF at the beginning of 2015 to join as an “observer member”

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) following the group’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Florida on Friday.

The Kingdom’s accession comes as the FATF celebrates its 30th anniversary of its first meeting held in Paris in 1989.

Saudi Arabia had been a founding member of the MENA arm of the group since November 2004, and its full membership comes after it was reported the Kingdom had made “tangible progress” and for its efforts in implementing the FATF’s guidelines.

The group is responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation.

Saudi Arabia received an invitation from FATF at the beginning of 2015 to join as an “observer member” as the group hailed the Kingdom’s position at international and regional levels, as well as its efforts in combating money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of arms.

With the Kingdom becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members in the group is now 39, including the most influential countries in the world, such as the permanent members of the Security Council and most G-20 countries.


Drones hit Aramco plant, Houthis claim responsibiltiy

Updated 37 min 55 sec ago

Drones hit Aramco plant, Houthis claim responsibiltiy

  • Houthis claim responsibility for the attack on the plant
  • The drones hit the plant, causing a small fire that was quickly extinguished

DUBAI: The Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih has confirmed that a drone strike hit the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility causing a small fire on Saturday.

In a statement condemning the attack, Falih said there had been “no injuries” and that the fire had been put out after the several drones were fired at the plant.

“This cowardly attack once again highlights the importance of the international community's response to all terrorist agents who carry out such acts of sabotage, including the Iran backed Houthi militias,” Falih said in the statement.

The Houthis later claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Saudi Aramco’s response team controlled a limited fire this morning at the Shaybah NGL facility,” a statement released on the oil giant’s website read.

“There were no injuries and no interruptions to Saudi Aramco’s oil operations. We will provide further details as they become available.”

The Houthis have carried out a number of attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent weeks and months, targeting residential areas and airports.