SOURCE: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia

May 23, 2017 13:35 ET

U.S. and Saudi Arabia to Co-Chair New Terrorist Financing Targeting Center

Collaboration with Gulf Partners to Counter Terror Networks

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA--(Marketwired - May 23, 2017) -  This Sunday, the United States and Saudi Arabia signed a historic agreement announcing the two nations' intent to establish the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), a collaborative approach to confronting new and evolving threats arising from terrorist financing. The TFTC represents a new and creative response that leverages existing tools and formalizes cooperation between the United States, Saudi Arabia and partners in the Gulf to counter terrorist financing.

"This new Terrorist Financing Targeting Center will enhance existing tools and cooperation with partners in the Gulf to forcefully address evolving threats," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "Treasury will offer the vast expertise of our Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to this creative new effort. We will co-chair the TFTC with Saudi Arabia, and will work collaboratively with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to counter these global terror networks."

The United States and the Gulf have worked hard to strengthen cooperation on countering the financing of terrorism. This relationship is exemplified by information sharing, regular high-level and expert-level engagement, and joint disruptive actions that the U.S. and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have taken together over the years.

With today's announcements, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other strategic partners in the Gulf are confronting new and evolving terrorist networks including ISIS, al Qa'ida, Hizballah, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, the Taliban, and the Haqqani Network. This collaboration will also address a host of other transnational threats emanating throughout the Middle East, including from Iran, the Assad regime, and the situation in Yemen.

The TFTC's goals are to:

1. Identify, track, and share information regarding terrorist financial networks;
2. Coordinate joint disruptive actions, and;
3. Offer support to countries in the region that need assistance building capacity to counter terrorist finance threats.

View the full text of the Memorandum of Understanding on Countering the Financing of Terrorism below:

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
ON
COUNTERING THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM

This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is entered into by and between:

(1) The Kingdom of Bahrain,
(2) The State of Kuwait,
(3) The Sultanate of Oman,
(4) The State of Qatar,
(5) The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
(6) The United Arab Emirates, and
(7) The United States of America.

hereinafter each referred to individually as "Participant" and collectively as "Participants."

In recognition of the strong relations existing among the Participants, and of the mutual desire to further these relations, the objective of this MoU is a bold and historic effort to expand and strengthen the cooperation among the Participants to counter the financing of terrorism, and to spur further action in this regard, based upon the principle of mutual benefit.

The Participants have reached the following understanding:

Section 1: Principles and Aims

1.1 This MoU between the Participants establishes the intent to create a Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), to be chaired jointly by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Ministry of Interior) and the United States of America (U.S. Department of the Treasury), for the purpose of facilitating coordination, information sharing, and capacity-building to target terrorist financing networks and related activity of mutual concern that pose national security threats to the Participants.

1.2 The TFTC would work to leverage the Participants' existing expertise to target specific terrorist finance networks, and also to identify and work to provide regional partners with the capacity they need to combat the financing of terrorism within their own borders.

1.3 This MoU does not replace or modify in any manner existing bilateral information sharing and operational relationships among the Participants. No resources are intended to be diverted from existing bilateral information sharing and operational relationships among the Participants.

Section 2: Scope of Cooperation

2.1 The Participants, through the TFTC, intend to:

a) Identify, track, and share information regarding terrorist financial networks and related activity of mutual concern, including related threats emanating from countries and terrorist organizations;

b) Coordinate action, such as joint sanctions designations or other disruptions against terrorists and their financial networks; and

c) Offer expert support to Participants that need assistance building capacity to counter terrorist finance threats, including establishing workshops on best practices in line with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.

Section 3: Working Mechanism

3.1 The Participants declare their intent to work together through the TFTC on countering the financing of terrorism.

3.2 Participants intend initially to work together to increase information sharing and coordinate sanctions and other disruptive actions against terrorist finance networks, with the goals of coordinating action against the highest-level threats and increasing joint actions as quickly as possible, with a longer term goal of co-locating experts in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3.3 The Participants intend that the TFTC build upon their capacity and the capacity of regional countries to counter the financing of terrorism through regional workshops and other events focused on improving collective capabilities to combat terrorist finance.

Section 4: Duration, Revision, and Discontinuance

4.1 The Participants intend to begin activities under this MoU upon signature.

4.2 Any revision to the content of this MoU is expected to be mutually decided upon in writing by the Participants and be done in writing by the Participants.

4.3 Financial and other technical details are intended to be reached as necessary among the Participants. The activities of each Participant in connection with this MoU are contingent on the availability of funds and other resources, and subject to the laws and regulations that govern each Participant.

4.4 This MoU is not legally binding and is not intended to give rise to any rights or obligations under domestic or international law.

4.5 The Participants intend to address any differences of opinion arising among them in regard to the interpretation of the present MoU through friendly consultation among the Participants.

4.6 Any Participant may discontinue cooperation under this MoU at any time, but in such case, should endeavor to give at least three months' prior written notice of discontinuation of its cooperation to the other Participants.

Signed in Riyadh, in seven originals in the English and Arabic languages, on the 21st of May 2017 corresponding to the 25th of Shaban 1438.

This is distributed by Qorvis MSLGROUP on behalf of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.