The back and forth of collaboration is underway between Qatar and the U.S., furthered by yesterday's meeting between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Qatar Ministry of the Interior at CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C.
CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin introduced several secure travel concepts to Qatar Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdulla Nasser Al Thani and other Qatari officials. Qatar, an Arab state, is planning to open a new airport in Doha, its capital city, by 2013. Qatar is also eyeing possibilities to host world sporting events in the next decade and expressed interest in working with CBP on innovative travel enterprises.
For example, the two leaders discussed the Immigration Advisory Program, CBP's initiative to protect air travel and improve security by sharing techniques and information with international partner governments. They also spoke of cooperating on Global Entry-the CBP expedited clearance program for pre-approved, low-risk air travelers. If a joint Global Entry arrangement moved forward, Qatar would be the first Middle East state to offer the facilitated travel service to air passengers.
Through dialogue and cooperation, "we build a relationship to solve cases that would be more difficult to solve without a good working relationship," said Bersin. The two leaders agreed to continue efforts to develop meaningful advances to secure travel between their two governments.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.