EU adds Saudi Arabia to draft 'terrorism financing' list
The European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to a European Union draft list of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against "terrorism financing" and "money laundering", sources told Reuters news agency, Trend reports referring to Aljazeera.
The move comes amid heightened international pressure on Saudi Arabia following the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The EU's list currently consists of 16 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea, and is mostly based on criteria used by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body of wealthy nations meant to combat "money laundering" and "terrorism financing".
The list has been updated this week, using new criteria developed by the European Commission since 2017. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries added to the updated list that is still confidential, one unidentified EU source and one unnamed Saudi source were quoted as saying.
A second EU official said other countries were likely to be added to the final list but declined to elaborate as the information is still confidential and subject to change.
A European Commission spokesman said he had no comment on the content of the list as it had not been finalised yet.
Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to the requests for comment.