U.K., U.S., France Demand UN Steps to Cut Islamic State Funding

Britain's Chancellor George Osborne's leaves the Treasury in London

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg
  • Osborne, Lew, Sapin ask for scanctions on illegal oil traders
  • Osborne in New York to attend UN Security Council meeting

The U.K., U.S. and France asked the United Nations Security Council to take action to cut off illegal sources of funding to Islamic State, as the council’s finance ministers prepared to meet for the first time on Thursday.

Fighting Islamic State

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin will jointly call for the use of UN sanctions to freeze the assets of traders and middlemen who facilitate the illegal oil trade that’s the main source of funding for Islamic State, also known as Daesh, the U.K. Treasury said in an e-mailed statement.

“The U.K. and its international partners must act now to do more to stop the illegal funding of terrorist organizations like Daesh who want to destroy all that we stand for,” Osborne, who is in New York to attend the meeting, said in the statement. “So‎ I am urging the UN Security Council to take urgent new steps to isolate Daesh from the international financial system and choke its revenues from illegal oil trading and elsewhere.”

Osborne’s call comes after the House of Commons voted earlier this month to extend Royal Air Force strikes against Islamic State beyond Iraq, joining nine nations from Australia to Jordan that have bombed the terror group in Syria.

The U.K. chancellor will call for a list of names of people who should be sanctioned to be drawn up. This will contribute to efforts to criminalize terrorist financing and to the improvement of information sharing between domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies and help governments to work more closely with the private sector to share expertise on countering that financing, it said.

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