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Remarks Prepared for Delivery By Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey At the Ministerial Press Conference
Date:3/11/2008

BERLIN, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs:

Good afternoon. I want to thank Interior Minister Schauble and Justice Minister Zypries for their hospitality during our visit and for their dedication to maintaining the close relationship between the United States and Germany.

The cooperation between our two countries on matters related to law enforcement and counterterrorism has been substantial, and citizens of both of our countries have been safer as a result.

I am honored by the opportunity to join you today for the initialing of the bilateral agreement between Germany and the United States that permits access to biometric data and spontaneous sharing of data about known and suspected terrorists.

This is a great achievement, both for its practical benefits and for what it symbolizes. This agreement gives us important new tools to combat terrorism and to fight transnational crime.

Each of our countries will have access to the criminal fingerprint databases of the other -- in the first instance simply to determine on a yes-or-no basis if there is evidence in those databases that could be helpful in criminal investigations and prosecutions. If such evidence is located, the agreement also sets forth procedures for obtaining it through lawful processes that also ensure appropriate protection for personal data.

The agreement further provides a mechanism for sharing information about known and suspected terrorists, so we can prevent them from entering our countries and attacking on our people. But beyond the important practical value of this agreement, it symbolizes the joint resolve of Germany and the United States to fight terrorism and transnational crime.

The United States is deeply grateful that strong cooperation from our international partners has helped us reduce violent crime and prevent major ter
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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