Security talks with US today
Security cooperation, counter-terrorism, expansion of engagement of military and intelligence agencies, joint military exercises and exchanges and strategic priorities will figure prominently in the Bangladesh-US Security Dialogue in Washington today.
Foreign ministry officials said the two countries will discuss a wide range of political-military issues. Washington is keen to strengthen cooperation with Dhaka to ensure security in the Bay of Bengal and also in the region.
Six broad areas of cooperation that will top the agenda for the talks are: strategic priorities and regional issues, military-military engagement, counter-terrorism, security assistance, peacekeeping and non-proliferation.
Additional Foreign Secretary Mustafa Kamal will lead the Bangladesh side, while Assistant Secretary of Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Andrew J Shapiro will head the US delegation in the second round of the security dialogue.
In the meeting, Dhaka will present a concept paper highlighting its water resources management, transit and border security situation.
The two sides are likely to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Security Intelligence (NSI) of Bangladesh and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US to strengthen cooperation and exchange information regularly between the intelligence agencies.
Establishment of National Academy for Security Training in Dhaka will also come up for discussion. The idea to set up such an academy was floated by Bangladesh and the US has welcomed it, officials said.
Also under discussion will be the strategic relations between the two countries in regional perspective.
“Bangladesh and US strategies towards India, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Indian Ocean region will be discussed in the meeting,” said a senior official at the foreign ministry.
“Bangladesh and India enjoy very good relations, which means in the regional perspective the US can have similar policies for both the countries,” he noted.
For Myanmar, Dhaka is pursuing a policy under which Rohingyas will get Myanmar citizenship and Washington is also helping Dhaka in this regard, added the official.
The first round of the security dialogue was held in Dhaka on April 19 last year.