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US assures more assistance for maritime security

US assures more assistance for maritime security

The United States on Tuesday assured Bangladesh of providing further assistance to enhance maritime security as Bangladesh needs to play an important role in maintaining security in the Bay of Bengal.
“The United States recognises that Bangladesh is located in a vital region, which requires it to play an important role in maintaining security in the Bay of Bengal,” said Tom Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.Putting emphasis on maritime security, he said it is absolutely critical, not just for Bangladesh but also for the United States and all countries of the world that true maritime security is established in the Bay of Bengal.
He made the remarks at a joint press conference after the third ‘Security Dialogue’ held at the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) expressing US’ satisfaction over Bangladesh’s success in enhancing maritime security in the Bay.
Mustafa Kamal, Secretary (Bilateral) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who led the home side to the dialogue, Atul Keshap, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Foreign Ministry Director General (America) Mahfuzur Rahman, DG (UN) Foreign Ministry DG (UN) Saida Muna Tasneem, US Ambassador Dan Mozena and US Embassy Press and Information Officer Kelly McCarthy were also present.
Tom Kelly said Bangladesh is playing a significant role in establishing maritime security something very important to the United States. “We hope we’ll be able to provide further assistance to Bangladesh to enhance maritime security.”
He said a strong bilateral partnership and improved defence ties between Bangladesh and the United States will contribute to the common desire for stability, peace, and prosperity in the region.
Kelly said the United States seeks a relationship with the government of Bangladesh that contributes to regional and global stability and security based on shared interests and values, and the mutual desire for a stable, secure, and prosperous world.
Terming the dialogue ‘productive’, he said the discussions reflect the broad and growing bilateral security cooperation that the two governments enjoy and reinforce that Bangladesh matters to the United States.
He said the US promotes American interests by helping nations respect international law and norms, including freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce, encouraging confidence building and integration among neighboring nations, and that all countries resolve disagreements peacefully without threats or coercion.
“Our relationship with Bangladesh fits into this broader strategy and commitment to the rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific,” Kelly added.
He mentioned that the US supports and welcomes engagement with Bangladesh and other countries of South Asia as the US and Bangladesh face numerous shared challenges in the region, which both the countries ‘can tackle together’.
He thanked Bangladesh for serving as a global leader in peacekeeping operations and contributing resources and manpower as well as womanpower, to UNPKO (UN Peacekeeping Operation) missions.
Sharing his experience to visit BIPSOT (Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training), Kelly said Bangladeshi peacekeeping expertise is a model and inspiration for countries around the world. “Bangladeshis should take pride for what your nation’s peacekeepers have achieved.
Asked whether the US raised any particular concern regarding counterterrorism, Mustafa Kamal said, “No, there’s nothing like that.”
Responding to another query on China, Tom Kelly said, “I would just say the United States fully respects Bangladesh’s sovereign right to engage in exercise and any kind of bilateral inter-change with any other country. So, we really don’t have any problem…”
He also said they did not discuss issues related to China in the dialogue. “We did not talk about China,” said Tom Kelly.
Responding to a question on future areas of cooperation, Mustafa Kamal said they discussed future cooperation in a number of areas that include peacekeeping operation, nonproliferation, disaster management, BIPSOT concept paper, counterterrorism assistance, countering extremism and terrorism. “These are very important for Bangladesh, I think.” – UNB

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