MENAFATF held its 4th plenary meeting for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, during the period from 13-15 November 2006, at Mercure Grand Hotel, Al Ain City, UAE. Egypt chaired the said meeting, represented by Mr. Mahmoud Abdulatif President of MENAFATF.
The meeting was attended by about 120 experts representing member countries (Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco,, Mauritania and Yemen). The meeting was also attended by representatives from observers (Palestine, France, United Kingdom, USA, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, GCC, FATF, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Egmont group).
His Excellency Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of UAE Central Bank and Chairman of the National Anti-money Laundering Committee, inaugurated the Meeting.
The meeting discussed a number of important issues relating to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The most important of which was the assessment of AML/CFT regulations implemented in Syria, Bahrain and Mauritania. This is considered the first MENAFTF mutual evaluation of a number of member countries. Discussed also were other topics relating to the first strategic plan for the coming three years, in addition to the work plan for 2007.
The meeting concluded with the following:-
- Approving the mutual evaluation report of Syria, prepared by MENAFATF;
- Approving the mutual evaluation report of Bahrain, prepared by International Monetary Fund;
- Approving the mutual evaluation report of Mauritania, prepared by the World Bank.
- Discussing the typologies report with regard to “Existing / Emerging Cross Border Payment Methods and their vulnerabilities to ML/TF”. It was agreed to grant countries a period of one month to review the said report and to submit any observations in this regard. The report will be reviewed again during next year Plenary.
- Approving MENAFATF first strategic plan for the three coming years, 2007 – 2009;
- Approving the 2007 work plan;
- Approving MENAFATF bylaws which regulate its systems and internal affairs;
- Approving MENAFATF estimated budget for 2007.
- Approving the first round Mutual Evaluation Procedures,
- Approving the joining of Spain to MENAFATF, as an observer;
- Approving finalizing a special agreement with the Union of Arab Banks which identifies areas of cooperation between MENAFATF and the Union, within the framework of the different events and activities which the Union organizes with regard to AML/CFT.
- Jordan shall chair MENAFATF in 2007.
- Approving holding MENAFATF next plenary meeting in Jordan during the period from 1-5 April, 2007.
Finally, the plenary meeting expressed gratitude to the UAE, for its hospitality, to Mr. Mahmoud Abdulatif, the President, for the efforts he exerted during his presidency and to the Secretariat of MENAFATF for the huge and distinguished efforts to enhance the work of the MENAFATF.