Dhaka – The United Sates on Sunday offered Bangladesh with counter-terrorism assistance in the wake of twin terrorist attacks in the South Asian country that left at least 32 people killed in a week.
Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal made the offer after a meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali.
A US embassy announcement said the US offered expertise and technical supports to Bangladesh in its counter terrorism efforts.
The US official also reiterated Washington’s pledge to stay by Bangladesh during its crucial juncture as the country faced a cowardly terrorist attack on July 1.
Twenty civilians, mostly foreign nationals, and two security officials were killed during the attacks at Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in Dhaka where the terrorists took those civilians hostage overnight and hacked them to death on July 1. Four people were killed outside a prayer ground in northern district of Kishoreganj on July 7.
Biswal arrived in Dhaka Sunday to weigh security situation in Dhaka and possible counter-terrorism cooperation with Bangladesh.
“We had a discussion with the US delegation on how we could address the current situation and further deepen cooperation in countering terrorism and violent extremism together,” Foreign Secretary Mohammad Shahidul Haque told reporters after the meeting.
He said the US side proposed supports at various levels including training and finding out new strategies in countering terrorism.
“The discussion on US support just started today… we are positive to accept supports from the willing countries,” he said adding Bangladesh will find out the modalities.
Biswal is expected to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and there will be more discussions.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Manpreet Anand were also present.
The US Assistant Secretary offered her condolences for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Holey Artisan Bakery in the city’s Gulshan area, said a press statement by the embassy.
“We share the grief of our Bangladeshi partners…Our commitment to Bangladesh remains as robust as ever,” she said adding that US would continue assistance in combating the global threat of terrorism.
During her two-day stay in Bangladesh, Biswal will meet the embassy people, local business, and other diplomatic representatives before leaving Dhaka for Colombo Monday.