Switzerland and Kosovo sign police co-operation agreement

Keywords: Co-operation | Police

Press Release, fedpol, 06.11.2013

Berne. Switzerland and Kosovo are to intensify their cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime. To this end the two countries signed a police cooperation agreement on Wednesday. The agreement allows the countries to exchange information on criminal suspects, to compile joint risk assessments and to form mixed investigation teams.

Jean-Luc Vez, Director of fedpol (left) and Bajram Rexhepi,  interior minister of Kosovo
enlarge_picture Jean-Luc Vez, Director of fedpol (left) and Bajram Rexhepi, interior minister of Kosovo

The agreement was signed in Pristina by the interior minister of Kosovo, Bajram Rexhepi, and the director of the Federal Office of Police (fedpol), Jean-Luc Vez. It constitutes a further step in Switzerland’s efforts to intensify police cooperation in the Western Balkans with the aim of fighting crime from South-East Europe more effectively. The agreement also supplements and facilitates the work of the Swiss police attaché, who has been stationed in Kosovo since 2008. The police attaché, as contact person in Kosovo for the Swiss police authorities, ensures the flow of information between the two countries, and supports local law enforcement agencies in prosecuting crime. Switzerland has already concluded similar agreements with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia.

The discussions between interior minister Rexhepi and fedpol director Vez focussed on cooperation in fighting organised crime, the trafficking and smuggling of human beings, as well as drug trafficking and cybercrime. Intensive bilateral exchanges are needed in order to fight these forms of crime, not only in target and transit countries, but also in the countries of origin.

Kosovo declared its independence on 17 February 2008 and was recognised by the Federal Council as an independent republic on 27 February 2008. Since then, Switzerland and Kosovo have maintained diplomatic relations. Kosovo has proven to be a reliable partner in police co-operation. It is in Switzerland’s interests to further strengthen this bilateral co-operation through a formal agreement.

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