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Germany Improves Defenses Against Terror Threats

Improving defenses against terrorist threats

Interior Minister Otto Schily and his American counterpart, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, are agreed that terrorism perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists continues to constitute a threat both to Germany and the United States. They want to improve information exchange between the two countries.

Schily and Ridge met in Berlin on September 17 to discuss current issues regarding the fight against terrorism.

They feel that in view of the continuing terrorist threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists there is a need to improve information exchange between the two countries. German and American security experts will exchange and cross-reference profiles of potential terrorists with a view to strengthening ongoing investigative activities.

They discussed the need to improve travel security, praising the efforts of the working groups they have created to work on biometric identification factors in passports and visas. They feel it is important to facilitate travel by business people and students between the world's two largest economies as much as possible while guaranteeing the highest possible level of security, Ridge noted.

Schily honored

Ridge gave the keynote speech at a ceremony in which Schily received the Transatlantic Partnership Award.

The Transatlantic Partnership Award is presented by an international jury headed by the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany to persons in various functions who have worked successfully to strengthen transatlantic relations.

Schily said he considered it a great honor to have been chose for the award. He intends to donate half of the 10,000 euros that accompany it to the American Academy in Berlin and half to the University of Hermannstadt in Romania.

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