The ninth annual bilateral security dialogue between Bangladesh and the United States began in Dhaka on Tuesday as part of the comprehensive security relationship between the two governments.
The US delegation is leading by Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Mira Resnick. She arrived in Dhaka on Monday.
The security dialogue is an annual, civilian-led discussion that touches on all elements of the security relationship between the two countries.
Representatives from both sides will discuss Indo-Pacific regional issues, security and human rights, military cooperation, peacekeeping, security assistance, and counterterrorism, among other topics, said the US Embassy in Dhaka in a media note on Sunday. The United States and Bangladesh have a strong security partnership and share many interests in the Indo-Pacific region, said the embassy.
Both countries share a vision to ensure the Indo-Pacific region is free, open, peaceful, and secure.
We have a variety of dialogues throughout the year in pursuit of these mutual objectives, the media note reads.
This year, the security dialogue closely follows the bilateral defense dialogue, which took place August 23 and 24 in Dhaka.
The bilateral defense dialogue featured senior officers and civilians from the US and Bangladeshi militaries.
They discussed a range of issues specific to the military-to-military relationship, including military education, peacekeeping and upcoming military exercises, including next year’s Disaster Response Exercise and Exchange.
Resnick oversees the Bureau’s Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers, which manages over $40 billion annually in government-to-government defense equipment transfers through Foreign Military Sales, Third Party Transfers, and Excess Defense Articles.
Resnick is also responsible for the Bureau’s Office of Security Assistance, which manages approximately $6.5 billion in US security sector assistance annually; coordinates State Department oversight, planning, and input for over $9 billion in the Defense Department security sector assistance programs; and provides State Department input for Department of Defense planning and military activities.
The security dialogue covers a wide range of issues related to partnership between the two countries including strategic priorities and regional security issues, defense cooperation, civilian security cooperation, UN peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, and countering violent extremism.
Bangladesh is likely to reiterate its call to return Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to Bangladesh to face justice. The Rohingya issue may also come up for discussion as a threat in the regional and global contexts.
At the 8th Security Dialogue held between the two countries at US Department of State in April last year, the two sides had “constructive discussions” on defence agreements like GSOMIA and ACSA as the US is keen to enhance security cooperation with Bangladesh.
General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) are “essential” to enable a closer defense relationship, expand opportunities for defense trade, information sharing, and military-to-military cooperation between the United States and Bangladesh.
These issues are likely to come up for discussion as follow up, a diplomatic source told UNB.
Source: The Daily SUN.