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G-8 Justice Ministers Pledge to Step Up Fight Against Terrorism


Justice and security ministers from the Group of Eight countries have pledged to better coordinate efforts to fight terrorism as well as other types of crime. The ministers have just wrapped up a two-day meeting in Moscow.

The security officials called for better cooperation and exchanging of information to put a tighter lid on cross-border crimes.

They made special note of crimes committed over the Internet, such as the promotion of terrorist actions and the recruitment of suicide bombers.

After their two-day meeting in Moscow, the ministers called for better use of information on plane and train passengers, border controls and improved security on transit systems.

As an example, the head of INTERPOL, the international police network, said increased sharing of passport numbers and other data could help prevent possible attacks. Ronald Noble says this process has already started in some countries, but needs to be done on a wider scale.

"If we are able to get more countries to give us the stolen passport data, if we are able to find a way to support more countries automating their checking of passports, like Switzerland has done, like France has done in Paris, then I believe we will have more opportunities to demonstrate to our citizens that we, working together, are making this world safer than it otherwise would be," he said.

Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, who hosted the meeting, said each country should boost its own measures to combat the terrorist threat.

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the group that, while countries may differ in many ways, they all share a commitment to fighting the terrorist threat.

The G-8 group includes Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Britain.

The justice ministers' meeting is one of several gatherings that will culminate in the summit of the G-8 leaders next month in St. Petersburg.

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