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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 29, 2001


Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

The U.S.-Egypt Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty was signed on May 3, 1998, in Cairo, and was approved by the U.S. Senate on October 18, 2000. By its terms, the exchange of instruments of ratification today will bring the mutual legal assistance treaty into force.

A mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is a modern and efficient way for the United States and Egypt to cooperate in the area of legal assistance in criminal law matters. It will facilitate the ability of the United States and Egypt to both obtain and provide assistance in transnational criminal investigations and prosecutions. The United States has negotiated such treaties since the late 1970's and currently has 44 bilateral MLATs in force.

The U.S.-Egypt Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty will provide a formal intergovernmental mechanism for the provision of evidence and other forms of law enforcement assistance for criminal investigations, prosecutions and related proceedings. Such assistance can include serving documents, executing requests for searches and seizures, transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes, taking testimony of witnesses in both Egypt and the United States, providing documents and records, and assisting in forfeiture of assets. It will thus build on the strong cooperation already taking place between the United States and Egypt in criminal law matters.


Released on November 29, 2001

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