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Israel joins UAE-based international body fighting organized crime

Emirati deputy PM says Jewish state will add strength to 10-member International Security Alliance

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: UAE Interior Minister Sheik Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, center, participates in a Gulf Cooperation Council interior ministers gathering to discuss regional security issues in Manama, Bahrain, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
Illustrative: UAE Interior Minister Sheik Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, center, participates in a Gulf Cooperation Council interior ministers gathering to discuss regional security issues in Manama, Bahrain, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Israel on Wednesday officially joined the International Security Alliance, an Abu-Dhabi-based group fighting organized and transnational crime, becoming its tenth member.

The ISA’s members, including Morocco, agreed on Israel joining the organization.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, which was involved in the process, declined to comment, but diplomatic sources told The Times of Israel that the ISA is an “important organization” and that Israel’s joining is a “very significant event.”

UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who represented Israel at the organization’s virtual meeting Wednesday.

“Sheikh Saif stated that having Israel as a new member will be an addition and strength to the alliance in seeking to achieve the objectives for which it was founded,” the UAE’s state-owned WAM news agency reported Thursday.

Al Nahyan also noted that international cooperation had aided in tackling major global challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic, and stressed the importance of “ramping up joint efforts to face all future changes, developments and challenges for the good of the world and humanity at large,” according to the report.

“He added that the alliance shoulders international and humanitarian responsibilities as part of its mandate to take appropriate decisions and procedures that benefit not only the alliance member states, but also the entire world,” it said.

The ISA, which was founded by the United Arab Emirates and France in 2018, “encourages joint work to confront organized and transnational crime of different types, develop means of prevention, and ensure sustainability of security and stability for these countries in their endeavors to promoting security and growth to their people,” according to the organization’s website.

“The Alliance also increases opportunities of cooperation among these countries in police and security areas while also leveraging experience and information sharing to contribute to the international peace and security.”

Other goals include combating “radicalisation and violent extremism.”

Its member states are the UAE, France, Bahrain, Italy, Senegal, Spain, Singapore, Morocco and Slovakia.

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