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Arab nations sign accord with vanishing ink

December 29, 2010
Amr Mohammed Moussa & Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz

Amr Mohamed Moussa (left) and Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz (right)

All the members of the Arab League have recently signed some meaningless agreement to curtail terrorist financing.  If the press account is accurate, the news is meaningless because the “agreement” is for each nation to develop its own CFT policies and no standards are laid out for increased monitoring of suspicious transactions.  The Arab League might as well entitle the accord, “An Agreement to Disagree & Do Little.”

The agreement may be more of a publicity stunt to impress Western investors more than anything else.  Many of these 22 Arab countries won’t even sign on to the United Nation’s fairly weak International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.  Therefore, the new Arab League agreement must be extremely bland in order for all of their members to commit to it. 

From the Saudi Gazette on Dec. 22:

CAIRO: Arab governments are getting together to fight terrorism by trying to dry up its supply of money, joining forces to battle money laundering.

The agreement to control money laundering is one of five signed by Arab interior and justice ministers. It calls on nations to set up their own programs to generate information and monitor money transfers.

The ministers met at the Arab League headquarters Tuesday, All 22 members signed the accords.

Their statement did not name terrorist groups, but several Arab countries are targets of Al-Qaeda.

Other agreements deal with organized crime, technical data fraud, counterfeiting, and pornography and sexual exploitation. They also signed an accord dealing with citizens of one nation who serve prison terms in other countries.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister, who is heading the Saudi delegation said a previously-signed Arab accord to combat terrorism and deviant ideology has created a solid ground for the region to unify ranks and shoot down this disease.

The Arab Accord to Fight Terrorism is a promise from the Arab states to fight this crime at all levels and the meeting reassures the security of the Arab people through security agreements signed by the members of the Arab League, he said.

Development of the Arab world will only come to life in an environment free of terrorism, corruption, and crime, Prince Naif said, emphasizing that a tough fight against crime is necessary to secure social prosperity.

Addressing the meeting, Prince Naif said, “You have come to reiterate your interest in an everlasting security and development for our Arab Ummah that has a unique harmony sharing one language, one religion, and one history, all boosted by the teachings of Islam that reject terrorism and extremism.”

Prince Naif’s speech at the opening of the meeting also focused on a comprehensive strategy for Arab security through the activation of security agreements and enhanced cooperation among members of the Arab League through the exchange of information and expertise to expose terrorism.

The fight against terrorism is a duty of the Islamic Shariah, which strives to save lives and property, Prince Naif said.

Prince Naif also conveyed the greetings of King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan and reiterated their support for all decisions serving the security of the Arab world.

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