Qatar, US agree to expand security cooperation

January 4, 2011

Qatar and the United States have signed a letter of intent to expand collaboration on bilateral initiatives to enhance security for American and Qatari citizens.

Qatari Minister of State for Interior Affairs Shaikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani and US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signed the agreement in Doha.

“Homeland security does not begin at America’s borders – it starts with our international partnerships to detect and deter terrorists and other individuals who pose a threat to citizens around the world,” Napolitano said.

“This agreement will help us expand collaboration with Qatar in order to better protect the citizens of both nations against the evolving threats we face,” she said, quoted by Qatari daily Gulf Times.

The letter of intent recognises expanded co-ordination between the US and Qatar, and outlines several areas for expanded collaboration including strengthened information sharing about individuals with ties to terrorism and serious crime, enhanced passenger screening at airports, sharing of best practices for document screening, behaviour-detection capabilities and efforts to combat bulk cash smuggling and money laundering.

It also highlights new partnerships to enhance international aviation security, cyber security, disaster response and emergency preparedness, and the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources.

The letter of intent builds on the Obama administration’s co-ordination on homeland security issues with Middle East partners.

It aims to leverage the shared commitment of the US and its allies abroad to work together to crack down on terrorism and serious crime while facilitating legitimate travel and commerce, the daily reported.

Napolitano also discussed with the minister effective intelligence and law enforcement action against Al Qaida and other global terrorist organisations.

The US official’s visit to Qatar follows stops in Ireland and Afghanistan, where she had met top Afghan officials to discuss progress in securing the commitment of the region and the US to working with Afghanistan “to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaida in the region.”

Napolitano will be in Belgium on Wednesday to meet her counterparts and discuss international efforts to ensure the security of our global aviation and supply chain systems against threats of terrorism.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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