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Press Release

United States and United Arab Emirates Sign Bilateral Agreement Enhancing Law Enforcement Cooperation

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
First Such Agreement in the Arabian Peninsula

On Thursday, the United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) enhancing evidence sharing, judicial cooperation and assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions.

U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi Chargé d’Affaires Sean Murphy and Emirati Minister of Justice Abdullah Sultan Al Nuaimi signed the MLAT on behalf of their nations at the Ministry of Justice in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The bilateral U.S.-UAE instrument was negotiated over the past several years by the Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

This historical bilateral agreement with the UAE will further strengthen relations and advance law enforcement cooperation between the two countries. The MLAT will improve and streamline U.S. law enforcement’s ability to obtain and exchange evidence needed for investigations and prosecutions and deepen the cooperation against terrorism and transnational organized crime, including cybercrime. The treaty removes onerous procedural obstacles to cooperation while ensuring adherence to the protections of the U.S. Constitution and other laws.

Present at the signing were officials from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, FBI and the UAE’s Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The new agreement enhances bilateral relations by affording both nations with improved information-sharing and creates a regularized and streamlined channel for obtaining law enforcement assistance. The MLAT will better enable prosecutors to exchange information facilitating the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime. It will improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism, cybercrime, drug trafficking, bulk cash smuggling, money laundering, fraud and other serious transnational criminal offenses. 

US-UAE MLAT Handshake


Updated February 24, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-163