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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Meeting with Swedish Deputy Foreign Minister Frank Belfrage

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined the Swedish State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Frank Belfrage and Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer to sign a Preventing and Combating Crime Agreement between the U.S. and Sweden--allowing for the exchange of biometric and biographic data between the United States and the Kingdom of Sweden to bolster counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts while protecting individual privacy.

"Strong international partnerships are critical to our nation's security," said Secretary Napolitano. "DHS is committed to working with our allies, such as Sweden, to share information and combat threats to our shared security."

To date, the United States has signed similar agreements to prevent and combat crime with 22 international partners and anticipates signing more in the coming weeks and months. These agreements--negotiated by the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State--are concluded pursuant to the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, which requires greater security cooperation between the United States and countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. The agreements prevent individuals who commit serious crimes in one signatory country from continuing illicit acts in another and reaffirm the United States' commitment to the reciprocal partnerships that advance the safety and security of the United States and its international partners.

Last Month, Secretary Napolitano traveled to Stockholm where she met with Deputy Foreign Minister Belfrage, as well as Sweden's Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask, Minister for European Union Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson, Sweden's State Secretaries to the Prime Minister Katarina Mascarenhas, Mikael Sandstrom and Gunnar Wieslander, Sweden's State Secretary to the Minister of Defense Hakan Jevrell, and Director General for Swedish Civil Contingencies Helena Lindberg to discuss the Department's partnership with Sweden to fight international crime and terrorism and protect critical infrastructure. Secretary Napolitano also highlighted progress between the two nations on information sharing agreements to increase bilateral cooperation and international travel security, and enhance collaboration on cybersecurity.

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