MLAT / Exchange of Instruments Ceremony

Mr. Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am pleased to be here today to exchange instruments of ratification for the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

With the exchange of instruments that has taken place today, this Treaty has now entered into force.  This result has been a long time in coming, and I would like to thank the ministries of foreign affairs and justice for your partnership and patience throughout the negotiations and the ratification process.

This Treaty represents a significant milestone in the cooperation of our two countries to combat terrorism and other crimes.  For the very first time, our countries have a bilateral treaty-based framework for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Under the Treaty, both countries agree to help each other with the suppression, investigation, and prosecution of serious criminal offenses – like terrorism, organized crime, or drug trafficking.  This Treaty allows the U.S. Department of Justice and the Algerian Ministry of Justice to communicate and work together directly and efficiently.  The Treaty provides a wide range of tools for this mutual assistance, for example:  taking the statements of witnesses, furnishing documents and other evidence, locating persons, executing requests for searches, and helping recover the proceeds of crime.

In responding to requests for assistance, each country will follow the procedures under its own internal laws – including, importantly, protections for human rights – in addition to following the procedures of the Treaty itself.

he entry into force of the Treaty represents another step forward in the development of a strong bilateral partnership between the United States of America and Algeria.  The U.S. Embassy welcomes the entry into force of the Treaty and looks forward to working with the Algerian government and people to further develop our bilateral cooperation in all areas.