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US, Algeria Sign Legal Treaty

Algerian Justice Minister Tayeb Belaiz (R) and US Attorney General Eric Holder shake hands after they signed a treaty in Algiers, 07 Apr 2010

The United States and Algeria have signed a legal treaty boosting cooperation in the fight against terrorism and crime, the first law enforcement agreement between the two countries.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with his Algerian counterpart, Justice Minister Tayeb Belaiz, on Wednesday in the capital, Algiers, where the two signed the treaty.

In a statement, Holder called Algeria an "important partner" in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime. He said the treaty will ensure that terrorists and other criminals cannot escape justice by simply hiding in another country.

The agreement will allow law enforcement officials from the two countries to obtain testimonies and statements, retrieve evidence, and provide a way for individuals to testify in the requesting country. The treaty covers terrorism, cybercrime, financial crimes and other offenses.

The United States has 50 such bilateral treaties worldwide.