Bangladesh and the United States on Sunday agreed on the importance of a deeper and stronger partnership in addressing mutual security concerns while upholding the values of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Bangladesh sought enhanced United States training, equipment, and logistics support in the areas of counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, disaster management, and UN peacekeeping.
Both sides recognised the shared threats they face and that countering violent extremist groups, such as ‘ISIS ’, constitutes a global challenge.
The issues came up broadly at the fifth round of Bangladesh-United States security dialogue.
At the dialogue, both sides pledged to work together to build upon the current growing security cooperation between the two countries in the coming years.
Additional foreign secretary (Bilateral and Consular) of the ministry of foreign affairs Kamrul Ahsan led the Bangladesh delegation comprising representatives of different ministries and relevant government organisations.
Deputy assistant secretary of state William Monahan led the US delegation that included representatives from the departments of state and defence.
US ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat and embassy officials also attended the dialogue, according to the foreign ministry.
The daylong dialogue covered a wide range of issues related to security partnership between the two countries, including, strategic priorities and regional security issues, defense cooperation, civilian security cooperation, UN peacekeeping, and counterterrorism and countering violent extremism.
The US side 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 applauded Bangladesh government’s efforts to control terrorist activities in the aftermath of the Holey Artisan attack by involving all relevant agencies, and the launch of a specialised counterterrorism and transnational crimeunit under Dhaka Metropolitan Police, according to a joint statement.
The US side 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 side appreciated the United States assistance and support in further improving its disaster preparedness and response capabilities through joint disaster response exercise and exchange, construction of 600 multipurpose cyclone shelters in coastal belts, and provision of fast-moving boats to the Bangladesh coast guards which has minimised the response time to prevent armed robberies within its maritime boundary.
The sixth round of security dialogue will be held in Washington next year. Bangladesh and the United States have been holding this dialogue regularly since April 2012.
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