WASHINGTON, D.C. /CitizenWire/ — Officials from the United States and Algeria met in Algiers February 10-11, 2013, to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling, and border security. These discussions furthered a first round of bilateral consultations initiated in January 2012 to explore ways and means to advance capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear and radiological material smuggling incidents, consistent with the Work Plan adopted by members of the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington, D.C.
At the two-day meeting, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Programs Simon Limage and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General for Political Affairs and International Security Taous Feroukhi reaffirmed their readiness to cooperate more closely to prevent terrorists and other criminals from acquiring black market nuclear material. Recognizing the importance of a coordinated whole-of-government response to nuclear smuggling, meeting participants included representatives from several ministries within the Government of Algeria, and representatives from the U.S. Government interagency.
During the meeting in Algiers, both sides exchanged views and shared information on current smuggling threats and trends, and discussed best practices in the areas of border security, and nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, law enforcement, and other tools to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents of nuclear smuggling.
Officials from the United States presented an overview of best practices in border security, and strategic trade controls through cooperation with the Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security program aimed at joining efforts to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and illicit transfers of conventional weapons including MANPADS and related criminal activities by strengthening national control systems over the export, import, transit, and transshipment of strategic items.
These discussions pave the way for future cooperation between the United States and Algeria to strengthen national, international and regional capabilities to counter illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.