For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba today signed a Letter of Intent to expand science and technology cooperation in order to enhance security and combat transnational threats.
“Global security depends on our ability to meet borderless threats with multinational solutions,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Strengthening cooperation and information sharing between the United States and Spain will enable us to more effectively improve security and combat terrorism.”
The Letter of Intent promotes collaboration of research, development, testing, evaluations and operations between the United States and Spain to benefit both countries’ capabilities to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from all disasters. Improving communication between governments will allow for quicker development of technology solutions to assist DHS personnel on the front lines.
Today’s signing marks the second meeting between representatives of the U.S. Government and the Government of Spain this week. Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute joined with Minister Rubalcaba to sign the Agreement to Prevent and Combat Serious Crime, which allows for the exchange of fingerprints and other data on known terrorists and criminals while protecting individual privacy. Through lawful procedures, investigators and prosecutors will be able to determine if either country holds evidence on a suspect that could advance a criminal investigation. The agreement also outlines processes for sharing vital information to help ensure the protection of citizens in both countries from terrorists or other criminals who may try to enter either country.
In the past five months, the U.S. government has strengthened ties with ten international partners by signing similar agreements to prevent and combat serious crime with Germany, Italy, and the eight new entrants to the Visa Waiver Program. These arrangements prevent individuals who commit serious crimes in one signatory country from continuing illicit acts in another and reaffirm DHS’ commitment to the reciprocal partnerships that advance the safety and security of the United States and its allies. Through the use of state-of-the-art security technologies, the agreements enhance public safety without limiting personal freedom or infringing on privacy.