BEIRUT, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The governor of Lebanon's central bank on Thursday denied any involvement of the country's banks in the flow of money to the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.
"Daesh has no money in Lebanon," Riad Salameh said, using the Arabic acronym for the IS.
In an interview with Al-Mustaqbal daily, Salameh downplayed concerns over the likelihood of Lebanese banks involving in money laundering to finance terrorism.
The comments followed his meeting Tuesday here with visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Daniel Glaser.
"Glaser was concerned about financial transfers to Daesh," Salameh said. "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."
"Lebanon's banks are secured due to strict measures imposed by the Central Bank and monitoring bodies," Salameh said.
"I stressed to the U.S. official that Lebanon is a member of Arab and international efforts to dry up IS funding," he said.
During his visit, Glaser and Lebanese officials discussed measures to reduce the flow of illicit money, which may be used to fund terrorism.
According to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Glaser encouraged Lebanese authorities and financial institutions to continue working to combat the threat of illicit funding and avert attempts to "evade U.S. and international financial sanctions from Iran and Syria, in particular."
Glaser reiterated the U.S. commitment to working with Lebanon in continuing to protect Lebanon's financial system from "abuse by terrorist threats," the statement said.