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Sun, 06/11/2023 - 00:39
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Interior Minister meets with US Secretary of Homeland Security

New York, June 10 (BNA): During his visit to the United States, Interior Minister General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa met with the US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the USA, Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa and the Interior Minister’s accompanying delegation attended. 
The Secretary of Homeland Security hailed the visit of the Interior Minister, lauding his role in reinforcing security cooperation and coordination between the two sides. He highlighted the importance of previously-signed agreements and memoranda of understanding between the Department of Homeland Security and Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior that have strengthened cooperation to achieve joint strategic and security goals. 
Meanwhile, the Interior Minister spotlighted the distinguished ties between Bahrain and the United States and their mutual dedication to expanding their partnership to serve the interests of both countries. He hailed the fruitful cooperation and exchange of expertise in advancing security, law enforcement and criminal justice through their strategic partnership and dedication to jointly tackle security challenges. 
He highlighted various projects and initiatives of the Interior Ministry, noting the necessity of securing the future and expanding partnerships to protect the youth from the current challenges, including rapid technological advancement and risks associated with maintaining a significant online presence through forums and video games. 
He hailed the support of the United States for Bahrain joining the Global Entry programme after activating the "Trusted Traveler" agreement signed between the two countries in January 2021. He highlighted that the programme is operated efficiently, and many Bahrainis have benefited from it after the issuance of pre-approved travel permission was sped up through the comprehensive development of the visa system between the two countries. 
He emphasized security cooperation between the two countries in various fields, including cybersecurity, one of the most critical global challenges that must be addressed collectively. 
He said the memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides last year reinforced constructive cooperation between Bahrain’s National Cyber Security Centre and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He added that technological development requires further vigilance, proactive measures, and collaborative partnerships to build capabilities, exchange experiences, and adopt best practices.
The meeting reviewed security coordination, how to strengthen capabilities and open new opportunities for bilateral cooperation. Cooperation and the exchange of experiences in countering drones through training courses to increase efficiency and readiness were also spotlighted. Additionally, several regional and international issues and developments were discussed to maintain security and develop joint efforts to confront current security challenges.
During the meeting, the Interior Minister and the Secretary of Homeland Security signed a memorandum of understanding between the Interior Ministry and the Department of Homeland Security to cooperate in preventing and combating trafficking in persons. The MoU promotes wide-ranging collaboration, including the exchange of information to detect, investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking in persons, the provision of protection and assistance to victims, as well as technical cooperation and preventive measures such as training and education programmes, seminars and workshops related to addressing trafficking in persons.
The Interior Minister, assured the Secretary of serious and active cooperation to implement the memo, highlighting his appreciation for the US Department of State designating Bahrain as a Tier 1 country in tackling trafficking in persons since 2018. He affirmed the dedication of Bahrain to build on this achievement and its determination to cooperate with regional and international partners in fighting human trafficking.