Building up on the close strategic cooperation established in the past years, the cooperation between the two entities has now been brought to a new level. Conscious of the risk of terrorism and its financing in the world, the MoU establishes a strategic framework for partnership between the Parties with respect to countering the financing of terrorism in the EAG member States. The MoU provides for several forms of cooperation, including sensitization of civil society to the threat of terrorism financing and its impact on development, security, peace and political stability in the region; supporting EAG member States to domesticate relevant UN and other regional legal instruments relating to the financing of terrorism; strengthening the operational capacity of key stakeholders involved in the fight against the financing of terrorism in various sectors, including the financial intelligence units, judicial authorities, investigating and law enforcement authorities, etc. The document also recognizes the progress made by EAG member States in recent years in developing and implementing national strategies on money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
During their meeting, the heads of the two organisations also emphasised the value of the participation of EAG experts in the assessment visits conducted by CTED, on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and the role of the EAG in the provision of technical assistance to the relevant States pursuant to the recommendation following such visits.
On the same day, Mr Chikhanchin briefed the Counter-Terrorism Committee on the regional efforts of the EAG to counter terrorism financing. The Group has completed a number of research initiatives on addressing the most relevant terrorism financing (TF) issues, such as cross-border bulk cash transportation and misuse of crowd-funding platforms for TF purposes. Speaking of the current threats, the EAG Chairman states that over 6000 nationals of the EAG member States are fighting in conflict zones with links to terrorism. The mutual efforts undertaken by the EAG member State resulted in the creation of mechanisms for prompt identification and disruption of channels for financing of foreign terrorist fighters, the use of a special methodology to analyze money transfers to territories adjacent to ISIL-controlled zones, etc. “Years ago, few would have believed that such a terrorist entity as ISIL is indeed possible. So if there is an effective response to that evil, it lies in prompt and coherent action by all national AML/CFT systems” – stated Mr Chikhanchin.