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February 20, 2019
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EU includes Saudi Arabia, others in blacklist of nations

STRASBOURG: The European Commission on Wednesday added Saudi Arabia and other countries to a blacklist of nations having lax controls on terror financing.

The EU commission said that the has invited criticism from several EU states worried about their economic relations with the listed states, notably Saudi Arabia.

Though there was pressure to exclude Riyadh from the list, the commission decided to blacklist the kingdom.

With the fresh inclusion, the list now has 23 countries. The Commission also added Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas and the four United States territories of American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The other listed states are Afghanistan, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.

However, the commission removed Bosnia Herzegovina, Guyana, Laos, Uganda and Vanuatu from the blacklist.

Apart from reputational damage, inclusion on the list complicates financial relations with the EU. The bloc’s banks will have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from listed jurisdictions.