US wants tighter military ties with Bangladesh

Says US Pacom Commander Samuel J Locklear

The Pacific Command (Pacom) of the United States wants to build closer "military-military relations" with the Bangladesh Navy to fulfil its mandate to ensure better security environment in the Asia Pacific, said visiting Commander of the US Pacom Admiral Samuel J Locklear yesterday.
Asia Pacific is the region that the US will be giving the most priority over any other in the coming days for the existence of some critical lines of communication and for the existence some of the largest economies of the world, he said.
The strategic involvement is not only about military relations, but also about the relations between governments and economies, he added.
“As I look across this part of the world… Bangladesh is a cornerstone for the future security of the world,” Locklear said while responding to queries by journalists at a media roundtable organised by the US Embassy at a hotel in the capital.
Earlier, a delegation of the US Pacom led by its commander Locklear met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office and discussed various issues of mutual interests.
The Pacom commander said they have a plan to observe over the next five years what progress is made in the military-military relations between the forces of both the countries through the completion of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise.
Earlier last month, the US and Bangladesh navies jointly conducted the 2nd CARAT exercise in the Bay of Bengal for eight days from September 17 to 24.
Under the present status of the military-military relations, military officials of both the navies at the lower general levels will annually meet to figure out what kind of activities to be engaged with in the future, said Locklear.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena told the roundtable, “The US government has a mandate to broaden, deepen the relations between the countries as far as Bangladesh can take it.”