US and Bangladesh hold third partnership dialogue

The US and Bangladesh have reaffirmed their commitment to deepen cooperation on bilateral, regional and international priorities during the third annual partnership dialogue held here.

Washington: The US and Bangladesh have reaffirmed their commitment to deepen cooperation on bilateral, regional and international priorities during the third annual partnership dialogue held here.

While the US delegation was led by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, the Bangladeshi commission was led by its Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque at the two day dialogue that concluded yesterday.

"These transfers are a tangible demonstration of the US' commitment to strengthen Bangladesh's capability to ensure the maritime security of the Bay of Bengal," a joint statement said.

The two leaders discussed a range of issues including sustainable development, counterterrorism, migration and climate change.

Recognising the threat of terrorism in the world, and acknowledging the effectiveness of counterterrorism and anti-money laundering acts in Bangladesh, the two countries expressed deep commitment to continue to cooperate to counter terrorist financing and violent extremism.

As part of the globally recognised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) framework, the US Embassy in Dhaka and the State Department will host a South Asia regional workshop in collaboration with Bangladesh to focus on best practices to counter violent extremism and terrorist financing.

The US plans to transfer a second coast guard cutter, the USCGC Rush, in spring 2015, the statement said.

The first one Coast Guard cutter Jarvis re-christened Somudra Joy, was transferred to Bangladesh in 2013.

The US offered its full support for increased regional economic integration and connectivity initiatives, including development of the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor, facilitation of cross-border trade, energy cooperation and increased women's economic participation.

The two leaders, for the first time, discussed the rapidly growing threats in cyberspace during the dialogue.

The US also outlined a broad program in Bangladesh to spur development of a national forest inventory that will help reduce deforestation, curb illegal logging, and contribute to the monitoring of forest change, the statement said.

The two countries reaffirmed a mutual commitment to the full and equal economic and political participation of women and girls.

"We reaffirmed our commitment to work together through the Equal Futures Partnership," the statement said.

"Both countries also intend to expand people-to-people ties by exploring ways to increase professional, academic, and educational exchanges and expand linkages between educational institutions," it said.

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