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US, Saudi Discuss Measures To Curb Terror Funding Amidst Iraq Tensions

US, Saudi Discuss Measures To Curb Terror Funding Amidst Iraq Tensions

Saudi Arabia is one of the important US allies in the fight against terror funding in the region.

Saudi Arabia and the US discussed steps in further expanding cooperation in disrupting the financial support of terrorist organisations, the Kingdom’s Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al Assaf said at a joint press conference with the US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

Lew said that Saudi Arabia is one of the important US allies in fighting terror funding in the region.

“We discussed how we can further enhance our cooperation in fighting illicit financing, not just to groups operating in Iraq but also to groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan and transnational groups such as Hezbollah,” he was quoted as saying in Saudi Gazette.

Lew added that cooperation between two countries is even more relevant amidst tensions in Iraq.

“Our close cooperation is more important given our shared concern about developments in Iraq,” he said.

“We discussed the need for coordinated efforts and an effective approach in Iraq and redoubling our efforts to confront financing to terrorist organisations.

“We recognise the benefit of working together to meet the challenges of supporting the macro-economic activities in countries in transition,” said Lew.

Saudi Arabia also rejected the idea of any foreign interference in Iraq’s domestic matters but blamed Baghdad’s policies as “sectarian”.

The crisis “would not have happened if it wasn’t for the sectarian and exclusionary policies that were practised in Iraq in past years and which threatened its security, stability and sovereignty”, official news agency SPA cited information minister Abdulaziz Khoja as saying.

Rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have seized several Iraqi cities, threatening to split the country down sectarian lines.

The Kingdom’s foreign minister prince Saud al-Faisal warned on Wednesday that Iraq faces a threat of a civil war, which could have grave consequences for the region.

He urged nations racked by violence to meet the “legitimate demands of the people and to achieve national reconciliation (without) foreign interference or outside agendas”.

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