Belarus officially recognizes INTERPOL passport
Decision reinforces already close cooperation with INTERPOL
LYON, France – Belarus today became the latest INTERPOL member country to officially recognize the world police organization’s passport, providing visa waiver status for individuals travelling on official business.
Minister of Internal Affairs for Belarus, Anatoly Kuleshov signed the agreement during a visit to the world police body’s General Secretariat headquarters where he met with Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other senior officials.
The agreement means that INTERPOL officials from any of the Organization’s 190 member countries can enter Belarus without a visa in order to carry out official duties on INTERPOL-related matters when invited by Belarusian authorities.
“Belarus is proud to officially recognize the INTERPOL passport as additional evidence of our steadfast commitment to enhance international police cooperation with all INTERPOL member countries,” said Minister Kuleshov who was accompanied on the visit by Head of International Cooperation, Mikhail Starikovich and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Minsk, Alexander Petran.
Following the deadly terrorist attack on a Minsk subway in April 2011 in which 14 people died and more than 100 were badly injured, Belarus ensured that INTERPOL and all its member countries had access to the fingerprints retrieved from the crime scene. Checks through INTERPOL’s databases confirmed that fingerprints from the suspect in the April attack, matched those of the suspect charged in connection with another bombing in Minsk in July 2008.
“By sharing important crime related information with INTERPOL and by recognizing the INTERPOL passport, Belarus enhances the security not only of its country and citizens, but of all INTERPOL’s 190 member countries,” said Mr Noble.
“If Belarus had not shared terrorist related information with INTERPOL, then the Minsk bombing suspect would have been able to move freely throughout Europe and the world to cause harm and even kill many others.
“Similarly, police worldwide in possession of the INTERPOL passport will be able to assist Belarus as requested at the scenes of terrorist attacks, major crimes or natural disasters, where time can be of the essence,” added the head of the world police body.
“As more and more countries officially recognize the INTERPOL passport, we will ensure an even faster response time by police worldwide working under the umbrella of INTERPOL and invited by member countries to assist,” concluded Mr Noble.
The INTERPOL General Assembly in Qatar in 2010 saw the official adoption of the INTERPOL Travel Document initiative to enable the Organization to provide faster on-site support to member countries requesting assistance.
Countries which have already recognized the INTERPOL Travel Document are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, France, Guinea, Jordan, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Rwanda, Seychelles, Singapore, Sudan, Swaziland and Tanzania.