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We met today for a valuable exchange of information on topics related to terrorism, economics, banking and finance. We affirmed our shared commitment to disrupting the financial flows that fund terrorism.
The U.S. thanked the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain for its support for Operation Enduring Freedom and the global war against terrorism, and in particular its efforts to combat the financing of terrorism. Bahrain's reaffirmation of its commitment to block terrorist accounts has been particularly important, and the U.S. welcomes continued close cooperation in the future. In this regard, the U.S. looks forward to joining Bahrain and other countries in the region in a combined initiative to ensure that charities throughout the world are not abused by terrorists.
The U.S. appreciates Bahrain having enacted legislation to prevent and combat money laundering in accordance with the guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), of which the Gulf Cooperation Council is an active member. The U.S. also welcomes Bahrain's participation in the terrorist financing self-assessment project of FATF and the measures that it is taking to implement the new FATF guidelines on combating terrorist financing.
The Secretary and the Minister discussed the steps the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has taken to encourage the development of a strong banking sector in Bahrain. The United States welcomed the continued development of Bahrain's financial sector and appreciates the steps the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has taken to strengthen both supervision and regulation.
The U.S. also praised the Bahrain Monetary Authority's progress in the development of Islamic banking regulation and welcomed the efforts by the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) to promote international accounting standards for Islamic financial institutions.
Bahrain and the U.S. pledged to continue working closely together in the future. The U.S. extended an invitation to personnel at Bahrain's new Financial Intelligence Unit to visit the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the U.S.' Financial Intelligence Unit, to share information and strategies.
The U.S. Treasury Secretary commended the strong economic and financial performance of the Kingdom of Bahrain's open and diversified economy, and the country's approach towards attracting foreign direct investment.
The Bahrain Minister of Finance & National Economy thanked the U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill for his visit and for the constructive discussions, which the Minister was confident would lead to enhanced economic and financial cooperation, and hailed the outstanding leadership of the U.S. government in promoting economic development.
U.S. Government Website