US, Bangladesh to further strengthen security cooperation
October 3rd, 2016 at 11:56 am
US, Bangladesh to further strengthen security cooperation

Dhaka – In the wake of terrorist attacks in Bangladesh, Dhaka and Washington have agreed to strengthen further their cooperation in the field of security.

The two sides came up the views at the fifth round of bilateral security dialogue between Bangladesh and the United States. The meeting concluded in Dhaka on Monday.

“They also pledged to work together to build upon the current growing security cooperation between the two countries in the coming years,” said a joint press statement issued after the dialogue joined by concerned officials at the State Guest House Padma.

Bangladesh sought enhanced US assistance for training of personnel and equipment and logistics support for countering terrorism, violent extremism and for disaster management, according to the statement.

Dhaka also sought its more share in the UN peacekeeping operations.

Additional Foreign Secretary (Bilateral and Consular) Kamrul Ahsan led the Bangladesh delegation comprising representatives of different ministries and security and other concerned government organizations.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of US State department William Monahan led the United States delegation that included representatives from the Departments of State and Defense of the United States.

US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat and embassy officials also attended the dialogue.

Bangladesh and the United States have been holding this Dialogue regularly since April 2012.

According to the statement the day-long dialogue on Sunday covered a wide range of issues related to security partnership involving strategic priorities and regional security issues, defense cooperation, civilian security cooperation and UN peacekeeping alongside terrorism and violent extremism.

Bangladesh and the United States recognized the shared threats they face and that countering violent extremist groups, such as ISIS or  Daesh constitutes a global challenge, the statement said.

The US delegation, it said, appreciated Bangladesh’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism and violent extremism, and not allowing its territory to be used for terrorist activities against other countries.

They also praised Bangladesh for its efforts to control terrorist activities in the aftermath of the Holey Artisan attack by involving all relevant agencies.

The July 1 attack on the restaurant in Dhaka left at least 20 civilians, including 17 foreign nationals.

The United States delegation also commended Bangladesh for its contribution to international peace and security through participation in the UN peacekeeping operations and also in the Global Peace Operations Initiative, funded by the United States.

Bangladesh praised the US assistance and support in further improving its disaster preparedness and response capabilities through joint Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange.