02 May 2019, Dhaka
The 7th Bangladesh-US Security Dialogue concluded successfully in Dhaka today. Director General, Americas Wing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Ferdousi Shahriar and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of the Political Military Affairs, US State Department Mr. Michael F. Miller led the respective side in the dialogue. Among the key issues discussed in the dialogue were: peacekeeping with reference to Bangladesh’s role and involvement in building peacekeeping capacity, military to military cooperation, security assistance, defense trade, counterterrorism, countering violent extremism, border and regional issues with reference to the ongoing Rohingya crisis, vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, human security and border issues.
The US side lauded Bangladesh’s role as a troops contributing nation and the availability of required training facilities in Bangladesh to prepare the peacekeepers for missions anywhere in the world. The Bangladesh side noted that Bangladesh is on the verge of fulfilling the UN requirement of 15% female peacekeepers.
The meeting noted security cooperation as a key component in bilateral cooperation. The US side reiterated its support to the armed forces and law enforcers of Bangladesh in enhancing capacity through various forms of trainings, sharing of information, sophisticated equipment and joint exercises. The two sides discussed the issue of re-introducing Bangladesh Biman flight between Dhaka and New York.
The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation on counterterrorism and civilian security issues. Bangladesh reiterated its stated position of “zero-tolerance” against any form of terrorism. Bangladesh requested the US to return Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to Bangladesh to face justice. Information and data sharing was identified as a very vital area of cooperation in nabbing terrorists and preventing crimes.
The meeting had a brief overview of the traditional and non-traditional security concerns facing both countries in the region. The Rohingya issue was identified as threat multiplier in regional and global contexts. The US side assured to remain beside Bangladesh in executing a sustainable and dignified return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homeland, Myanmar. The US side responded affirmatively to Bangladesh’s call for working together in the maritime domain on security matters. The two sides agreed to work together on multiple aspects of non-traditional security (NTS) in future.