US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin landed in Israel today and met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a working meeting. In his opening greeting, Mnuchin said, "We don't have a better partner in the region than Israel." "Only in the region?," Netanyahu replied jokingly, "in the entire world… but the truth is that the United States is Israel's most important partner in the world."
Yesterday, Mnuchin visited Saudi Arabia at the beginning of a round of meetings with Middle East finance ministers. On Saturday night, after his meetings in Jerusalem, Mnuchin will leave for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
The US treasury secretary is extremely important to the Israeli government, as under Treasury Department guidelines US administrations have for many years conducted sanctions. Several anti-terror laws enable the US treasury secretary to sign orders declaring financial institutions, commercial companies, and even private individuals, barred from entry to the US or from doing business with US companies.
A US Treasury Department statement said that Mnuchin's visit was a continuation of the visit by US President Donald Trump to Israel in May, after Trump announced the setting up of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center. Mnuchin is accompanied by Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker, and senior Treasury Department staff specializing in financing of terrorism.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 26, 2017
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