Diplomatic Correspondent: Bangladesh and the United States had a “fruitful discussion” on Indo-Pacific Strategy and Bangladesh expressed support to inclusive socio-economic development in the Indo-Pacific region.
At the 8th Security Dialogue held between the two countries at US Department of State on Wednesday, the two sides had “constructive discussions” on defence agreements like GSOMIA and ACSA as the US is keen to enhance security cooperation with Bangladesh.
General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) are “essential” to enabling a closer defence relationship, expanding opportunities for defence trade, information sharing, and military-to-military cooperation between two countries.
Bangladesh side raised deep concern regarding the sanctions on RAB and individuals, and urged the US side to reconsider the decision, according to a message received from Washington.
Bangladesh side highlighted Rab’s pivotal role in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes; and also elaborated on how the sanctions on Rab is unjustified as the personnel do not enjoy any impunity. The two sides agreed to continue discussion.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Denise Jenkins led respective delegations.
Bangladesh was also represented by the Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman, Secretary of Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief Md Kamrul Hasan, Secretary of Law and Justice Division, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Md. Golam Sarwar; and representatives from Prime Minister’s Office, Public Security Division, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Ministry of Defence, Bangladesh Police, Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Coast Guard.
US Side was represented by, among others, Assistant Secretary Jessica Lewis and Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelley Keiderling.
Foreign Secretary Masud and Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman also held a separate meeting with the Under Secretary.
Masud said Bangladesh deeply values its partnership with the US.
The US delegation appreciated strong ties with Bangladesh, which is well reflected in the regular dialogues between two sides, as they opined.
The day-long meeting covered areas like UN Peacekeeping, Bangladesh US Security Cooperation including cooperation in military training, maritime security, proposed defence agreements, defence purchase and capacity development etc, regional issues like Rohingya, Indo-Pacific, and counterterrorism and civilian security cooperation.
The US side praised Bangladesh’s successes and leadership in UN Peacekeeping Operations.
They also expressed willingness to assist Bangladesh in the modernization and institutional development of its armed forces.
On Rohingya issue, the US highly praised Bangladesh’s role, and gave ‘a big thank you’; and committed to continue all possible support.
Bangladesh appreciated the determination by the US of the genocide against Rohingyas, and urged the US side to take follow up measures.
The US delegation observed that after 50 years of the independence, Bangladesh has merged as a responsible country and taking part in resolving global crises and problems.
Two sides agreed to continue robust cooperation in counterterrorism and transnational crimes.
The US also assured about its continued support in building law enforcement and prosecutorial capacity as well as in countering violent extremism.
Two sides also discussed on cooperation in aviation safety, with the view to early resumption of Dhaka New York direct flight.
Bangladesh appreciated the robust support received from the US in terms of COVID-19 vaccines.
Two sides agreed to maintain regular contact and to continue the discussion on various issues. The next Security Dialogue would be held next year in Dhaka.
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