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DHS to Expand Border Security, Cybersecurity, Counterterrorism Cooperation with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates

Memorandum of Cooperation establishes a Joint Security Program to identify air passengers linked to terrorism and trafficking.

Last week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers was in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to expand security cooperation between the United States and each nation, and to advance key homeland security agreements and objectives. In Doha, Qatar, Under Secretary Silvers signed security arrangements with the State of Qatar, engaged with key Qatari government partners on a range of joint security issues, and reaffirmed DHS’s commitment to enhance Qatar’s security of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. In the United Arab Emirates, Under Secretary Silvers engaged with key representatives from the Ministry of the Interior and the Dubai Police.

“DHS is proud to continue to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Qatar through new security arrangements that expand our operational collaboration and highlight our support to secure the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” said Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “The Department will also continue to build on its partnerships with the United Arab Emirates across critical security missions.”

First, Under Secretary Silvers and Qatar Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani issued a Joint Statement that reflects DHS’s commitment to assist Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) to secure the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 through strengthening Qatar’s event security, port security, screening, contraband interdiction, and risk management capabilities. Under Secretary Silvers received an operational tour of the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium to observe Qatar’s preparations to secure the World Cup.

Building on the long-standing relationship between DHS and the MOI, Under Secretary Silvers and Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani also signed several arrangements to further cooperation to counter smuggling, detect fraudulent documents, and enhance border security. These arrangements include a Memorandum of Cooperation establishing a Joint Security Program to identify air passengers linked to terrorism and trafficking of narcotics, weapons, currency, and humans, as well as reaffirmation to implement a visa validation program to detect fraudulent visas. They also committed to collaborate to counter threats from unmanned aircraft systems.

Second, Under Secretary Silvers and the President of the National Cyber Security Agency of Qatar Abdulrahman Ali Al Maliki signed a Joint Statement of Intent on Cybersecurity Cooperation. They committed to strengthen cooperation by sharing cybersecurity threat information, best practices, risk management, and technical information.

Third, Under Secretary Silvers met with Qatar General Authority of Customs Chairman Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Jamal to sign letters of intent to advance negotiations of two important customs cooperation arrangements.

Fourth, Under Secretary Silvers visited Camp As Sayliyah to thank the dedicated DHS and interagency teams for their work processing tens of thousands of Afghan nationals since last fall. Before traveling to the United States, Afghan evacuees undergo a multi-layered, rigorous screening and vetting process that begins overseas and is conducted by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Counterterrorism Center, and other Intelligence Community partners. DHS remains committed to welcoming additional Afghan nationals to the United States over the coming weeks and months. Under Secretary Silvers expressed his appreciation to the Government of Qatar for its partnership in Operation Allies Welcome and their role assisting U.S. efforts to resettle Afghan nationals.

While in the United Arab Emirates, Under Secretary Silvers met with officials from the Ministry of Interior, including Assistant Under Secretary Major General Salem Ali Mubarak Al Shamsi and Director of Security Support Directorate Brigadier General Fawaz Khalil Badran. They discussed opportunities to enhance joint research and development, law enforcement training, and cooperation on counterterrorism.  Under Secretary Silvers also met with leaders of the Dubai Police to discuss programs to strengthen cooperation in aviation and border security, anti-money laundering, artificial intelligence, and combatting cybercrime.  Under Secretary Silvers underscored DHS’s ongoing partnerships with the Ministry of Interior and the Dubai Police and noted the Department’s commitment to expand coordination and partnership.

Read more at DHS

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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