Spain and the United States will exchange technology, personnel and information to better confront the new threats to international security.

Spain's deputy prime minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, on Wednesday in Madrid signed a bilateral accord to establish that exchange.

The signing came within the framework of the meeting of interior ministers of France, Britain, Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain, which is also being attended by the United States.

The pact emphasizes the need to improve protection of essential infrastructure intensifying research on protective measures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks and the detection of explosives.

Rubalcaba and Napolitano emphasized the importance of cooperation to combat international threats, reduce vulnerability and facilitate the response to incidents or attacks that can cause a serious impact on citizens and the world economy.

During the working meetings, the European interior ministers - along with the United States - will review police cooperation in the fight against organized crime and the new challenges to security in North Africa's Sahel region.

In recent years, that region has been transformed into a new route of entry for South American cocaine that is consumed in Europe.

These new drug trafficking routes are also used by migrant smugglers, weapons traffickers and terrorist groups such as the Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, which have set up training camps in remote parts of the Sahel.