US eyes business in BangladeshDiplomatic Correspondent
The United States believes there are chances for ‘cooperation’ in Bangladesh’s ‘military modernisation plan’, according to a senior US official.
The US has also given broad hints that the secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, may visit Dhaka anytime soon, a foreign ministry official in Dhaka said.
Hillary’s visit can take place in the first week of May, he said.
Bangladesh is ‘working on a military modernisation
plan, which includes looking to partners for affordable defence systems, especially for supply to its Special Operations Forces and disaster relief equipment. The modernisation efforts provide an opportunity for us to expand our security cooperation, especially through our Excess Defence Articles programme, which makes US equipment that is surplus to our requirements available to our partners,’ the US assistant secretary for Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Andrew J Shapiro, said on April 24 at Carnegie Endowment Roundtable discussion in Washington, according to a US news release.
Shapiro, who led an 11-member US delegation to a dialogue in Dhaka on April 19, also discussed at the meeting the potential for US security cooperation with India and Bangladesh.
He also found a link between security cooperation and human rights. Through ‘exchanges we are helping professionalise national military forces to ensure they can better protect their publics, while respecting human rights,’ he said.
Shapiro also believed that the US security assistance ‘is playing a critically important role for the people of Bangladesh and for the national security of the United States’.
A foreign ministry official in Dhaka told New Age on Thursday that the US had given hints that the secretary of state might visit Dhaka preferably early May.
‘We have requested them to make a formal communication about the visit. The US side is yet to come up with ‘anything formal’, the official said.
Acting foreign secretary Mustafa Kamal said the foreign ministry would share with the press if there ‘is anything’ about the visit.
The US is interested in signing a comprehensive framework agreement on trade and security issues with Bangladesh, officials said.
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