Manama: Interpol will discuss the possibility of issuing special passports to allow staff to travel internationally without the need for visas at a meeting in Qatar next month.
"We consider this an important issue that will ease the movement of officers without the need for visas," Brigadier Khalifa Al Nasr, the director of the Arab and International Police Communication Department, said ahead of the world's largest police gathering, which will take place from November 8 to 11.
The 188 member states and 65 regional and international organisations will attend the 79th Interpol General Assembly.
Interpol, based in the central-eastern French city of Lyon, suggested the idea of issuing passports last year to enable staff to travel easily when assisting in transnational investigations.
"That a person is travelling with an Interpol passport for official business should be all the information a country needs in order to grant them access," an Interpol official said at the time the matter was first raised. "By agreeing to waive visas for Interpol passport holders, member countries will ultimately be assisting themselves and staff would be able to respond quickly to crimes and natural disasters.
Under Interpol's proposal, the passports with state-of-the-art security features will be issued to Interpol headquarters officials and to the heads of country offices.
Interpol, on its website, said that "member countries have shown great interest in this initiative, with several already according a special visa status to Interpol travel document holders, and many others seeking more information as to how they can support the initiative in their own countries."
"It's clear that this initiative will have a tangible impact on the fight against global security challenges and will enhance the ability of our member countries' law enforcement entities to cooperate internationally," the police agency said.
Other issues to be discussed at the meeting include new ways to combat money laundering, as well as the problems of drug trafficking and cyber crimes.