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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka, Washington discuss cooperation on defence, IPS, maritime security

The two sides also discussed different bilateral issues of mutual interests and priorities, particularly in the sectors of humanitarian assistance, Rohingya repatriation and resettlement

Update : 09 Jan 2023, 08:43 PM

Bangladesh and the United States on Monday discussed defence cooperation, Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), development cooperation, maritime safety and security, strengthening capacities of law enforcing agencies and cyber security.

The two sides also discussed different bilateral issues of mutual interests and priorities, particularly in the sectors of humanitarian assistance, Rohingya repatriation and resettlement.

US Senior Director for South Asia, National Security Council Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher, who is currently on a four day- visit to Bangladesh, met Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen at the State guesthouse Padma in the afternoon and discussed the issues of mutual interest.

Asked about the two proposed agreements – General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and the Acquisition Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) – with the US, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said, “Our major focus is people's welfare. But to protect our economic development, security is also essential.”

GSOMIA and ACSA are "essential" to enabling a closer defence relationship, expanding opportunities for defence trade, information sharing, and military-to-military cooperation between two countries.

Senior Director Laubacher praised the bold decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for allowing in and providing shelter to over one million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals who were fleeing genocide.

While there is enormous demand for resources for the livelihood of this large population, they discussed the support of the international community for this distressed population.

The Foreign Secretary appreciated the US government for supporting the resolutions in the United Nations related to the Rohingya population and also for recognizing the genocide. 

Colonel Brian Luti, Director for South Asia Regional Affairs at the National Security Council, and Scott Urbom, Office Director for Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in the South Central Asia Bureau at the U.S. Department of State, Helen LaFave, Deputy Chief of Mission, and Arturo Hines, Chief of Political section of the Embassy of the United States in Dhaka from the US side and Secretary (Maritime Affairs) Rear Admiral (retd.) Md Khurshed Alam, Nayem Uddin Ahmed, Director General (Americas), Miah Md. Mainul Kabir, Director General (Myanmar Wing), Khandker Masudul Alam, Director General (North America), Hasan Abdullah Towhid, Director (Americas) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Bangladesh side were present during the meeting.

Earlier, the US delegation visited the Rohingya Camps in Cox's Bazar on Sunday.

The delegation visited the facilities in the Rohingya camps including the educational and cultural opportunities there.

They also attended a roundtable discussion at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on Monday afternoon.

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