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Gulf-US Cooperation to Counter Terrorism Financing | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. President Donald Trump (C) looks on as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef (R) exchange a memorandum of understanding, a commitment by the Gulf states not to finance militant organizations, at the Gulf Cooperation Council leaders summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Riyadh – A center established by the GCC and the United States to combat terrorism financing would target three main goals, including exchanging information on terrorist financial networks, coordinating joint counter-terrorism measures and providing support to the region’s countries for building capacities in fighting terrorism financing.

The United States and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed on Sunday a memorandum to create a center to combat the financing of terrorism, on the sidelines of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh.

The center’s objectives include identifying, tracking and sharing information about terrorist financing networks, according to a statement from the US Treasury Department.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “This new Terrorist Financing Targeting Center will enhance existing tools and cooperation with partners in the Gulf to forcefully address evolving threats.”

“The Treasury will offer the vast expertise of our Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to this creative new effort,” he added.

According to the memorandum, the center will be established by the Saudi interior ministry and the US Treasury department and will focus on the means to cut funding for terrorist groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah, among other groups.

The center will benefit from experiences and expertise of participants to target terrorist financing networks and will seek to identify regional partners and build countries’ capacities to counter the financing of terrorism.

The US described the establishment of the center as a bold and historic effort to expand and promote cooperation on fighting terrorism and encourage countries to take further steps in this regard, based on the principle of mutual interests.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed the MoU at King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in the presence of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, US President Trump and the leaders and heads of delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab Countries.