Salameh Downplays Washington's Warning on Financing Terrorism via Lebanese Banksإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh downplayed on Thursday Washington's concerns on the possibility of involving Lebanese banks in money laundering operations to finance terrorism, in particular the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Lebanon's banks are fortified due to the strict measures imposed by the Central Bank and the monitoring bodies,” Salameh stressed in comments published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper.
The high-ranking official pointed out that he soothed the fears expressed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Daniel Glaser during his short visit to Beirut on Tuesday.
“Glaser was worried of financial transfers to Daesh... he wanted to make sure that the money that is reaching the organization is not transferred through Lebanon's banking systems and from it to the global financial sector.”
Salameh said that he stressed to Glaser “Daesh has no money in Lebanon,” noting that the country “is part of the Arab and international efforts to dry the funding of ISIL.”
Glaser discussed on Tuesday with Lebanese officials the measures that would reduce the flow of illicit money, which could be used to fund terrorist organizations and operations.
The U.S. official, according to a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Beirut, encouraged Lebanese authorities and financial institutions to continue their work to combat the threat of illicit financing and prevent attempts to evade U.S. and international financial sanctions from Iran and Syria, in particular.
He met with Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, a delegation from the Lebanese Association of Banks, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jebran Bassil and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq.
Glaser reiterated the U.S. commitment to work with Lebanon to continue protecting Lebanon’s financial system from abuse by terrorism threats.