Spain and US sign anti-terrorism treaty

17th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 December 2004, MADRID-Spain and the United States have signed an agreement to help fight international terrorism.

17 December 2004

MADRID-Spain and the United States have signed an agreement to help fight international terrorism.

The accord, signed by Spain's justice minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar and the US attorney general John Ashcroft in Madrid, will make it easier to extradite terrorist suspects between each country.

It also reinforced the cooperation between the two countries, who both suffered major terrorist attacks within three years of each other.

Aguilar said the agreement "improved judicial and political cooperation".

Ashcroft said his country was well aware of the global threat which terrorism posed and as such agreements of this kind were the best answer.

Ashcroft said the relationship between the US and Spain, which has been troubled in recent months after the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq, was "strong and productive".

"The US wants to be a strong partner with individuals around the world and nations around the world to reduce crime," said Ashcroft, addressing a joint news conference with  Aguilar.

"We've been grateful for the cooperation of other nations and especially of Spain in helping us avoid another terrorist attack like we experienced on September 11," Ashcroft said.

He said he hoped this strong relationship would continue in the future.

Both countries are now committed to mutual assistance with investigations.

The only exception is in cases of extradition when the suspect could face the death penalty if they are handed over to the US, in which case Spain can refuse.

And one new aspect of the treaty is that suspects wanted by the US or Spain can be quizzed by video-conference in territory controlled by either state.

Also both countries are to set-up a data bank of information on suspects to which either country can have access to, along with teams which will work together using lines of 'rapid communication'.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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