*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 the US.*
Saudi Arabia which had received an invitation from the FATF at the beginning of 2015 to join as an “observer member”, was admitted into the organization after the group’s meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Friday (June 21), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Saudi Arabia had been a founding member of the MENA arm of the group since November 2004, and its full membership came 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.
With the kingdom becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members in the group is now 39.
Earlier on Friday, FATF declared Pakistan’s progress towards implementation of the action plan.
According to the details, the plenary meeting the FATF took place in Orlando today to review the compliance of a number of countries, including Pakistan with the international standards on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT).
FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan towards the implementation of the action plan. It acknowledged the steps taken by Pakistan to improve its AML-CFT regime and highlighted the need for further actions for implementing the Action Plan.
FATF will undertake the next review of Pakistan’s Progress in October 2019.