U.S., Qatar move closer on security issues

Jan. 4, 2011 at 1:15 PM
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DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Defending the U.S. homeland starts with monitoring terrorist activities through international partners like Qatar, the U.S. homeland security secretary said.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with Qatari Minister of State for Interior Affairs Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani in Doha to sign a letter of intent on bilateral security collaboration.

"Homeland security does not begin at America's borders," said Napolitano in a statement. "It starts with our international partnerships to detect and deter terrorists and other individuals who pose a threat to citizens around the world."

The letter recognizes the importance of cooperating on security screening of airport passengers and "behavior detection capabilities" as well as cybersecurity and money laundering.

The Department of Homeland Security notes the letter builds on Washington's policy of expanding its security partnerships with its allies on in the Middle East. Both leaders, the department said, discussed the importance of strengthening law enforcement action against al-Qaida.

Napolitano later left Doha to meet with Israeli counterparts. She arrived in Qatar after a weekend visit with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

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