The Netherlands and Azerbaijan exchange expertise on fighting crime

The Netherlands and Azerbaijan will exchange knowledge and experience in the field of fighting organised crime, such as illegal migration, human smuggling, trafficking in human beings and the trade in illegal drugs. Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin signed a declaration to that effect together with the Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramil Usubov this morning. Minister Hirsch Ballin invited his colleague to present project proposals.

Knowledge and experience can be exchanged between investigative officers of both countries on the basis of the agreements made. During his conversation with his colleague, the Minister emphasised the importance of personal contact between officials that are charged with law enforcement in both countries. As a result of said personal contacts, they will be better able to recognise the importance of cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime. This serves the joint objective of fighting, for example, migration crime and the drugs trade.

Earlier this week, Minister Hirsch Ballin announced to the Azerbaijani government that the Dutch government had withdrawn its earlier objections against Azerbaijani joining the Apostille Convention. This will make the procedure for recognition of mutual documents, such as marriage and birth certificates, more effective. This can save a great deal of time in the legal proceedings of individual citizens.

Minister Hirsch Ballin visits Azerbaijan this week at the invitation of Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov following on previous contacts in the Council of Europe, of which Azerbaijan forms part. The theme of the visit will be maintenance of good bilateral contacts and cooperation in the field of justice and immigration. Said cooperation is important, inter alia, for the effective combating of cross-border crime, such as trafficking in human beings and human smuggling, and the fight against illegal migration. The Dutch Ministry of Justice promotes the rule of law in Azerbaijan. During the working visit, Minister Hirsch Ballin spoke inter alia with the President of the Milli Majlis, the Azerbaijani Parliament. He also spoke with the Procurator General Zakir Garalov and the head of the immigration service.

The working visit will last until Thursday. The programme still includes meetings with, inter alia, President Ramiz Rzayev of the Supreme Court and the Head of the Border Control Service. The Minister will also speak with representatives of local enforcement services and the judiciary in the Northern part of Azerbaijan.