The United States is in discussion with Bangladesh about assistance package in countering terrorism and violent extremism taking Bangladesh’s need into consideration.“We’ve been refining our package and figuring out what we’re going to provide. First of all what your government agencies need,” said US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Sunday.She was talking to reporters at the Foreign Ministry after her separate meetings with Foreign Minster AH Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque during which they discussed bilateral relationship between the two countries.Asked whether the US is pursuing any new agenda with Bangladesh, Bernicat who had a number of meetings at the ministry in the last couple of weeks, said there is ‘constant evolution’ more or less on the same agenda but new things come like blue economy and opportunities that lie.
Responding to another query, the US Ambassador said they are, at this point, more or less talking about various requests they received from various agencies and what they are planning to do to respond to those requests.The US Ambassador said Bangladesh and the United States have three prescribed talks and Security Dialogue is one of the things they are tracking.“Again, there’s no single point on the agenda. There’re so many aspects of security cooperation. It’s a very broad and rich agenda actually on the security side,” Bernicat said while responding to a question on the upcoming security dialogue.Bangladesh and the United States will discuss ways to further strengthen security cooperation between the two countries with specific focus on ‘mechanisms to counter terrorism’ in a better way and other new issues in the coming security dialogue, Foreign Ministry sources said.The other current security issues, including military and non-military cooperation between the two countries will also be discussed in the fifth Security Dialogue, likely to be held in Dhaka in October. Both sides are now working to finalise a date.The security dialogue usually covers a broad range of topics, including strategic priorities and regional issues, security assistance, cyber-security, peacekeeping, military-to-military cooperation, and counter-terrorism, foreign ministry sources said.Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime and other related issues are likely to be discussed in the security dialogue, too.On September 11, 2015, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Todd Chapman and Mizanur Rahman, Secretary (Bilateral & Consular), chaired the dialogue.The fourth annual US-Bangladesh Dialogue on Security Issues was held on September 11, 2015 in Washington, D.C.The dialogue reflected the growing defence relationship with Bangladesh, and two countries shared commitment to peace and prosperity in the region.The US side said they always look at what kind of training is required in strengthening counterterrorism efforts and countering violent extremism.Bernicat also said they also discussed the 71st regular session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that will begin at UN Headquarters on 13 September and the sideline events.She also talked about the potential of blue economy and how US investors can be attracted to come and invest here.