Both forces to cooperate on training, intelligence, exercise
Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aiming to enhance defense cooperation between the two countries.
Non-binding in nature the MoU was signed on Thursday at the Saudi Defense Ministry in Riyadh, according to a press release forwarded by the Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division of Bangladesh Lt Gen Md Mahfuzur Rahman and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Saudi Armed Forces Lt Gen Mutlaq bin Salim Al-Azaima signed the MoU on behalf of respective sides.
According to officials concerned, the first initiative under the signed MoU will be the dispatching of about 1,800 Bangladesh troops to Saudi Arabia to take part in mine-sweeping activities and civilian constructions.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told a press conference on Wednesday that the troops will not be militarily engaged in the Kingdom and that their activities will be conducted under civilian arrangements.
Under the MoU, both the countries will cooperate with each other in the fields of military training, exercise and education, military data and intelligence, defence industry, supply and maintenance, inspection and skill-exchange, military treatment and research, sports, social and cultural activities, sceince and technology, exchange of military personnel, and maritime security and piracy prevention.
The instrument will enable the both sides to undertake programs to enhance military cooperation.
It was signed based on the current friendly relationship between the two countries and following the foreign policies, aiming to enhance international peace and stability.
The MoU is also expected to strengthen and develop the defense cooperation between Dhaka and Riyadh.
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Golam Moshi and Deputy Chief of Mission Nazrul Islam were present at the signing ceremony.