The Dutch embassy met the Director General of the Libyan Customs Authority, Major General Suleiman Ali Salem, at his Tripoli headquarters on Monday. Major General Murad Al Alam, Director of the General Administration for Combating Smuggling and Drugs, Director of the International Cooperation Office of the Authority, and the legal advisor to the Director General were also in attendance. The Dutch were represented by the Acting Chargé d’Affaires of the Dutch Embassy in Libya and the Security Attaché of the Royal Netherlands Police.
Libya seeking MoU to combat organised crime and drugs
The Director General stressed the need to open ways of cooperation between Libyan customs and Dutch customs, by establishing a legal framework for cooperation in combating organized crime and combating drugs. He said this can only be achieved by concluding a memorandum of understanding between the two parties. Ways of cooperation in developing human capabilities and raising the efficiency of the performance of members of customs personnel were also discussed.
Drug seizures made on cars arriving from Netherlands
Major General Murad Al-Alam, Director of the General Department for Combating Smuggling and Drugs, for his part, listed the seizures made by his personnel of hallucinogenic pills and drugs that were seized from cars coming from the Netherlands through seaports. He stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between the two parties to pursue the smugglers responsible for these operations.
Netherlands seeking enhanced cooperation
The Customs Authority reported that the Dutch side expressed its pleasure in enhancing cooperation between the two parties and that there will be upcoming consultative meetings to reach a legal framework for cooperation between the two parties.
Dutch becoming more active?
It is worth noting that the Dutch embassy has become very active in recent weeks, a change from the perception that it usually conducts low-profile operations.
However, on Monday, the Dutch Embassy held talks with the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority to discuss security standards, rules and procedures at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.
While on Tuesday the Embassy held talks with the Tripoli-based Libyan Interior Ministry on security cooperation.
The Dutch are also helping the Customs Authority train its recently purchased sniffer dogs handlers.
The change could be traced back to mid-May this year when the Netherlands officially opened ‘‘a new workspace’’ at its embassy in Tripoli. The inauguration was conducted by Deputy Dutch Foreign Minister Paul Huijts.
The Dutch embassy had said that their renewed presence reflects a commitment to promoting peace and stability in Libya. ‘‘Together, we support inclusive elections and emphasize the importance of human rights in the peace process. We’re proud to work with Libyan partners and strengthen our business ties. This expansion enhances our diplomatic relations and cooperation.’’