Shaikh Abdullah, O'Neill sign the MoU - Image Credit: BNA

Manama: Bahrain and the US have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in combating transnational crimes.

Ambassador to the US Shaikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Khalifa and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill signed the memorandum of understanding that includes the development of cooperation in the field of crime prevention in general, and international terrorism in particular.

The accord covers countering all forms of supporting, funding and inciting terrorism, combating trafficking in persons, illicit trafficking in drugs, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as maritime fraud. The MoU also covers cyber and economic crimes, in addition to money laundering crimes.

In a statement, Shaikh Abdullah stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in all fields, achieving the greatest cooperation in the security fields and contributing to combating crimes in all their forms.

The ambassador explained that the signing of the MoU contributed to enhancing coordination in addressing threats to security.

In a report released in July, the State Department said that Bahrain “plays a key role in regional security architecture and is a vital US partner in defence initiatives.”

Bahrain hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and participates in US-led military coalitions, including the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh. “Bahrain was the first Arab state to lead a Coalition Task Force patrolling the Gulf and has supported the coalition counter-piracy mission with a deployment of its flagship. The US designated Bahrain a Major Non-Nato Ally in 2002,” the report said.

Close bilateral relations boost Bahrain’s maritime defences against smuggling and terrorism and improve its ability to “deny terrorist sponsorship, support, and sanctuary in a manner that respects the human rights of its residents.”