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.
The kingdom’s accession came as the global money laundering watchdog celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first meeting held in Paris in 1989, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
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.
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.