For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
PANAMA CITY–Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today visited Panama City to meet with her international counterparts and reiterate the Obama administration's strong commitment to fighting terrorism and other threats in collaboration with our partners around the globe–signing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and Panama that will enhance information sharing and help secure the international aviation system against terrorism and international crime.
"The security of the international aviation system relies on close cooperation and global information sharing," said Secretary Napolitano. "This MOU underscores the shared commitment of the United States and Panama to enhance our mutual security and secure air travel through enhanced information sharing and cooperation."
The MOU enhances the abilities of both countries to combat transnational crime and terrorism by improving information sharing–supporting Panama's efforts to strengthen its own air travel security measures to better identify suspicious individuals traveling by air and utilizing U.S. expertise in aviation security technologies, training and privacy protections.
While in Panama City, Secretary Napolitano met with Panama President Ricardo Martinelli and Vice President Juan Carlos Varela to reiterate our shared commitment to expanding partnerships between Panama and the United States on security issues. She also met with representatives from several Central American nations to discuss the United State's continued collaboration with the region to bolster aviation security and combat multinational threats.
Following the attempted Dec. 25 terrorist attack, DHS has worked with the International Civil Aviation Organization and our global partners at five regional aviation security summits on five continents in an unprecedented effort to strengthen international aviation security–also taking concrete steps to bolster security at airports throughout the United States by deploying law enforcement personnel, behavior detection officers, air marshals, and explosives detection canine teams; expediting the deployment of new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units to help detect metallic and non-metallic explosives; and implementing new, enhanced security measures for all air carriers with international flights to the United States.
Tomorrow, Secretary Napolitano will visit Mexico City to meet with her counterparts to reiterate the United States' commitment to working with our Mexican partners to enhance information-sharing and ensure our mutual security.