Friday 24, March 2023

US offers equipment, training for Bangladesh’s armed forces

News Desk: USA wants to assist Bangladesh in modernisation and institutional development of the latter's armed forces by providing defence equipment and training.

The US emphasised on signing two defence deals – GSOMIA and ACSA – that are foundational agreements for defence trade and cooperation.

"Two sides had constructive discussions on defence agreements like GSOMIA and ACSA," said a statement of Bangladesh Embassy in Washington today.

These were discussed in detail at the 8th Security Dialogue held at the State Department in Washington.

The dialogue continued for seven hours, starting at 9:00am (Washington time) on April 6.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ambassador Bonnie Denise Jenkins led respective delegations.

The Bangladesh side raised grave concerns regarding the sanctions on Rab and individuals, and urged US side to reconsider the decision.

During detailed discussion on this, the Bangladesh side highlighted Rab's pivotal role in Bangladesh's fight against terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes.

The two sides agreed to continue discussion over the matter. The delegations also agreed to continue robust cooperation in counterterrorism and transnational crimes.

The US assured its continued support in development of law enforcement and prosecutorial capacity as well as in countering violent extremism.

The US delegation observed that after 50 years of the independence, Bangladesh has emerged as a responsible country and is taking part in resolving global crises and problems.

The US side praised Bangladesh's successes and leadership in UN Peacekeeping OperationsOn 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 US recognition of genocide against Rohingyas, and urged the US side to take follow up measures.

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.

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.

Bangladesh was also represented by the Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman, SGP, psc; Secretary of Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief Md Kamrul Hasan, NDC; 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 General Waker-Uz-Zaman also held a separate meeting with the Under Secretary.


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