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Press Releases 2010

The State Department and Department of Homeland Security Welcome Afghan Border Management Officials

November 12, 2010

For Immediate Release
2010/1629

Media Note

The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program at the Department of State, in coordination with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is bringing several high-level Afghan Border Management and Customs Officials to the U.S. November 9-20 as part of an International Visitors Program (IVP).  The IVP supports U.S. efforts to build Afghan capacity in the critical area of customs and border management security. The delegation includes Director General Kammawie, head of the Afghan Ministry of Finance's Customs Department.

The visit of these high-level Afghan defense, customs, and police officials highlights the close partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the United States Government in the areas of defense, security, customs, and border protection.  The goal of the program, which will include visits to ports of entry at Dulles Airport and in Texas, is to enhance sharing of best practices on security-related systems and processes, commercial operations, automation, management models, and other trade enforcement activities.

EXBS and the DHS are working with the Afghan government to build the capacity of Afghanistan's customs and border police through several initiatives, including building two Ports of Entry and establishing the first Customs Academy in Afghanistan, which will celebrate its one year anniversary next month.  To date, DHS has trained several hundred Afghan officials on interdiction techniques and enforcement efforts related to bulk cash smuggling.  DHS and the Afghan Government are also working on several regional initiatives in Afghanistan, to include the counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) initiative.  The Afghan Government has made significant security strides at Kabul International Airport and at some of the border crossing points in Afghanistan, where it has seized several shipments of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make IEDs.  IEDs are the number one killer of Coalition troops and innocent Afghan civilians in Afghanistan, and the Afghans' advances in interdiction efforts are contributing to the improved safety of these populations.

For additional information about EXBS, please go to: http://www.state.gov/t/isn/ecc/c27911.htm .