India & US talk to curb terror funds, finance crime

WASHINGTON: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her American counterpart Janet Yellen have discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in fighting illicit finance, money laundering and terror financing and agreed on the importance of effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. The two dignitaries held a wide-ranging discussion to step up bilateral cooperation during the eighth India-USA Economic and Financial Partnership meeting held here on Thursday. The meeting reflected the growing importance of the US-India relationship and the increasing economic and financial ties between the two economies. The importance of fighting illicit finance and the need for continued cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the terror funding was underpinned by Sitharaman and Yellen, the finance ministry said in a tweet, as the two countries issued a detailed joint statement after the meeting. “We continue to strengthen our cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and coordination,” said the joint statement. “Both sides agree on the importance of fighting financial crimes and on the effective implementation of the FATF standards to protect our financial systems from abuse,” it added. It assumes importance as the Paris-based global body against money laundering and terror financing in June retained Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing. The FATF asked Pakistan to investigate and prosecute UN-designated terrorists based in the country like Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and also asked Islamabad to work to address its strategically important deficiencies. During the first India-US Economic and Financial Partnership meeting since the onset of the pandemic, the two countries also agreed on further talks on emerging financial sectors such as cross-border payments, payment systems and the development of an International Financial Services Centre

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