Suriname, France Step Up Security Cooperation
By Dialogo January 14, 2010Suriname and France signed an agreement on Tuesday to step up security cooperation on the border with French Guiana, Suriname Justice and Police Minister Chan Santokhi said. "In the past we have signed justice cooperation agreements and now we extend our cooperation with joint operations regarding public order," Santokhi said after the signing ceremony. "It will enable us to provide more security in the area," he said, adding that this includes "assistance from French firemen, joint operation in traffic incidents, disasters, cross-border crimes or joint trainings", the minister explained. In the coming days the two countries hope to sign a 400,000 euro financial aid agreement approved in 2008 by the French government to boost up the police and justice cooperation in Suriname. French Ambassador Richard Barbeyron France would also invest in other projects through its its international development agency, whose director was scheduled to hold talks here Tuesday with members of the cabinet. Suriname and French Guiana share common problems with drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal gold mining, and border enforcement. In 2009, Suriname and France signed a 40 million euros loan agreement, most of which will be used to upgrade a road linking Paramaribo to Albina, a city on the French Guiana border.