KSA’s bid for permanent membership in global anti-terror finance task force discussed

Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), attended the Financial Action Task Force meeting in Paris. (SPA)
Updated 30 June 2018

KSA’s bid for permanent membership in global anti-terror finance task force discussed

  • Saudi Arabia has met international standards and requirements on becoming a permanent FATF member and is committed to international and bilateral conventions.
  • The Kingdom was invited in 2015 to become a member of FATF in recognition of the Kingdom’s international and regional status and in appreciation of its efforts.

JEDDAH: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has discussed Saudi Arabia’s mutual evaluation report on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and weapons proliferation during its joint meeting with the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), which concluded in Paris recently.

The report was prepared by international experts from both FATF and MENAFATF.

According to a FATF statement, the report is based on the FATF mutual evaluation process and includes the main findings, recommendations and advised measures on the above issues, as well as the Kingdom’s compliance with the technical standards of FATF’s recommendations.

FATF is expected to release the report in September 2018 based on internal procedures.

The mutual evaluation process is considered one of the most important procedures for obtaining permanent membership in FATF, and proceedings are continuing in this regard.

The governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Standing Committee, Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, thanked all bodies concerned, including committees in Saudi Arabia, for their cooperation during all stages of the mutual evaluation.

Saudi Arabia was invited in 2015 to become a member of FATF in recognition of the Kingdom’s international and regional status and in appreciation of its efforts.

The Cabinet had approved the commencement of the procedures for joining FATF upon its request.

The Kingdom has met international standards and requirements issued in this regard and is committed to international and bilateral conventions.

Since June 2015, Saudi Arabia has been occupying an observer seat in FATF.

 

 

 


Ministry makes 14-day gap between two Umrahs mandatory

Each group will be accompanied by supervisors who will ensure pilgrims respect social distancing, and follow instructions and a pre-adopted timeline. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Ministry makes 14-day gap between two Umrahs mandatory

  • The Kingdom is adopting extra vigilance during the Hajj and Umrah seasons to protect Muslims around the world
  • Umrah app to be available on Android soon

MAKKAH: Pilgrims must wait 14 days before booking another date for Umrah, while the Eatmarna app will be launched on Android soon, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said.

“Pilgrims can perform Umrah twice, but must wait 14 days before performing Umrah the second time, to give a chance to everyone to perform Umrah in line with the necessary precautionary measures brought about by the coronavirus,” Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, the ministry’s chief planning and strategy officer, told Arab News.
The ministry is studying  the available spots that can  be used by the pilgrims to perform Umrah while maintaining social distancing, ensuring health protocols.
Al-Maddah said that so far 35,000 requests have been registered to perform Umrah.
Pilgrims will start performing Umrah on Oct. 4 within the first stage of the Umrah plan this year, in line with health protocols and procedures.
In the first phase, pilgrims will perform Umrah at six different times a day, giving each pilgrim three hours.


He added that between the sunset and evening prayers, pilgrims will not be allowed to perform Umrah and, instead, this period will be allocated to cleaning and disinfecting. “Pilgrims will start performing Umrah at midnight, with the place disinfected before the arrival of each group.”
Each group will be accompanied by supervisors who will ensure pilgrims respect social distancing, and follow instructions and a pre-adopted timeline. Isolation rooms will be provided at the central area’s hotels to handle any potential cases.
The second stage, scheduled to start two weeks later, will be preceded by a comprehensive assessment of the first stage to address any shortcomings.
“The Kingdom is adopting extra vigilance during the Hajj and Umrah seasons to protect Muslims around the world, and allow them to perform their pilgrimage in ease and peace in line with precautionary measures,” said Al-Maddah.
“The three-stage plan will provide feedback on pilgrims’ commitment to protocols and adjustment to current circumstances.”
He said that the app was supposed to be launched earlier, but was delayed due to Android policies.
The app was presented to both Apple and Android at the same time, but Apple completed the procedures earlier, he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al Al-Sheikh, announced the ministry’s readiness to receive Umrah performers in all Miqats in accordance with approved health protocols.
He commended leadership efforts to confront the pandemic, in addition to the government sector role in ensuring the safety of citizens, residents and Umrah performers.