The European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to an EU draft list of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against terrorism financing and money laundering, a report said.
Saudi Arabia is one of the countries added to the updated list that is still confidential, one EU source and one Saudi source told Reuters.
The move is a setback for Riyadh at a time when it is striving to reclaim its international reputation following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2.
Apart from this, the inclusion in the list complicates financial relations with the EU. The bloc’s banks will have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from the listed jurisdictions.
The provisional decision must be endorsed by the 28 EU states before being formally adopted next week.
Countries are blacklisted if they “have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regimes that pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union,” the existing EU list declares.