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Secretary Napolitano Visits U.S. Coast Guard Units in Kuwait

Release Date: 
July 2, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Kuwait—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano toured a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in Kuwait today and met with USCG personnel to thank them for their service.

“Confronting global terrorism demands vigilance in every corner of the world,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Kuwait work courageously every day to promote security in the Middle East and defuse threats before they reach our nation’s shores.”

Secretary Napolitano met with the Combined Task Group 55.6, which trains Iraqi coalition forces to advance regional security and stability in accordance with Operation Iraqi Freedom. Secretary Napolitano also met with the Middle East Training Team, which conducts law enforcement programs in conjunction with U.S. Naval Forces surface exercises in the region.

Coast Guard forces play an integral role in U.S. efforts to secure the Middle East region and contribute heavily to homeland security law enforcement operations worldwide.

Secretary Napolitano’s visit to Kuwait was her fifth stop in a weeklong trip to Europe and the Middle East. In Ireland on Monday, Secretary Napolitano toured the new DHS secondary screening facility set to open on July 29 at Shannon Airport and discussed the implementation of a landmark Preclearance Agreement between the United States and Ireland with Irish Transport Minister Noel Dempsey. She also met with Irish Justice, Equality and Law Reform Minister Dermot Ahern to discuss a future information sharing agreement.

Also on Monday, Secretary Napolitano traveled to the United Kingdom, where she met with Home Secretary Alan Johnson and Transportation Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis to discuss coordination on issues such as countering violent extremists, information sharing, air travel security and cybersecurity.

Visiting Portugal on Tuesday, Secretary Napolitano met with Interior Minister Rui Pereira, Justice Minister Alberto Costa and Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Amado and signed an Agreement on Preventing and Combating Crime (PCC), which allows for the exchange of biometric and biographic data to bolster counterterrorism and law enforcement in both nations while ensuring privacy protections.

Traveling to Spain on Wednesday, Secretary Napolitano met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, Economy Minister Elena Salgado, Justice Minister Francisco Caamaño Domínguez and other officials to discuss transatlantic collaboration and pressing international concerns such as narcotics trafficking and terrorism. Secretary Napolitano also signed a document with Minister Rubalcaba regarding the Immigration Advisory Program, which discusses coordinated efforts to target high-risk travelers attempting air travel to the United States.

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