International security focus of INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Tunisia
TUNIS, Tunisia – INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock has met with Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid and Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli to discuss cross-border crime and terrorism threats, and how INTERPOL’s global policing capabilities can support the country’s police.
Key items on the agenda during Mr Stock’s visit included border security, access to INTERPOL’s global databases to frontline police, and building operational capacity through training in areas such as police investigations or digital forensics.
The visit comes in the wake of last week’s deadly attack by Da’esh militants against Tunisia’s Presidential Guard, which followed attacks at the Sousse tourist resort in June and the Bardo Museum in March.
"No nation or region can defeat the threat of terrorism alone. Strong and rapid international police cooperation remains essential to preserve the rule of law and save innocent lives – both in Tunisia and abroad,” said Tunisian Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli.
“Tunisia is fully committed to continue building on its strong operational ties to INTERPOL, in order to further enhance its response to transnational threats," added Mr Gharsalli.
Welcoming his discussions with Tunisia’s authorities at a time when the country and region are facing transnational security challenges, Mr Stock said: "Regional and international collaboration is required against terrorism and transnational crime threats, and we believe that we can enhance regional security by working collaboratively to extend and share information and expertise."
“The sharing of critical police information through INTERPOL, a neutral global actor, can help close security gaps exploited by criminals, including terrorists.”
With Tunisia having further secured its borders by connecting these to INTERPOL’s global databases, Secretary General Stock noted that the country is one of the top contributors to INTERPOL’s database containing records on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs).
In this respect UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014) identified INTERPOL as a global law enforcement information sharing platform against FTFs.
Highlighting the country’s strategic role in North Africa in the face of security issues such as FTFs, weapons trafficking and migrant smuggling, Mr Stock concluded: “We look forward to enhancing our collaboration with Tunisia, which is of fundamental regional and global importance against international security threats.”
During a visit to the anti-crime Pole Sécuritaire de lutte contre le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée in Tunis, Secretary General Stock also met participants at a digital forensic training course organized by INTERPOL, which also included an expert from Europol.