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Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken in their role as an observer to the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force; and what assessment she has made of progress by the body in combating the financing of terrorism. (137094)

The UK supports the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force's (MENAFATF) objective of raising standards in combating the financing of terrorism in the middle east/north Africa region. Government representatives have attended all five plenary meetings to date in an observer capacity. We are discussing with the MENAFATF Secretariat the possibility of UK technical assistance to the organisation and its member states in areas of common interest.

We assess that MENAFATF has made an encouraging start. It is continuing to develop. It has produced guidance papers for its members on the regulation of cash couriers and of charities. It is co-operating with other regional bodies such as the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering on the delivery of technical assistance to raise standards in countering the financing of terrorism. The UK welcomes this proactive approach and hopes that MENAFATF will continue to play a positive role in the international effort to tackle terrorist financing.