Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Dichter on terror: “France shouldn’t pay the price Israel paid”

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie received her Israeli counterpart Avi Dichter at Place Beauvau on Tuesday, and announced an increased collaboration in the war on terror between French and Israeli police and Intelligence.

“We have measured the need to follow-up our two countries’ strong cooperation in counter-terrorism and public security,” said Alliot-Marie. “Both countries are facing the same threats and we need to exchange information, technology, share our skills and develop research.”

“Michele Alliot-Marie announced on Tuesday that France was about to invest 1Billion euros in research. That’s a brave statement,” said Dichter, who added that a new group of high level police officials would meet and launch additional efforts to increase cooperation between the two countries.

“We can still strengthen our collaboration capacity. This is a necessity for our citizens’ security,” declared Alliot Marie.

“[MAM] is a brave minister. She established a strong collaboration between Israel and France when she was defence minister, investing massively in UAVs. Today she is endorsing strengthened collaboration in security,” said Dichter. “I’m looking forward to our common work in fighting terror and crime, giving advice in maintaining public order.”

“France shouldn’t pay the price we paid and we offer all of our experience in battling terror, free of charge. We offer the same to other security services.”
“Today we have discussed the new working group composed of our best police officials and the excellent professional appointed by the French government. They will examine the situation and ways to push forward our collaboration in the upcoming month and we will then sign a new agreement, either when [Michèle Alliot Marie] will be in Israel or when we’ll be back here in Paris, for a strengthened cooperation. We will launch our new common path with many challenges – the ones I’ve just mentioned and others.”

According to the Interior ministry, Michele Alliot-Marie received a dozen ministers this week to discuss cooperation in the war on terror as France was organising the international exhibition of internal state security - Milipol - at the Bourget, near Paris. 44 countries were present with 950 stands. Israel was the 6th country, represented by 42 companies that were, according to the Figaro, “a length ahead” of the others.

France’s main counter terror bureaux, the RG and DST, are in a fusion process that will be completed in 2008. Their leaders, Bernard Squarcini and Joël Bouchité, evaluated on Monday that the terror alert in France was high.

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