Parrikar to meet Bangladesh leadership today to firm up defence co-operation agreement

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Dec. 1 : Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will on Thursday hold talks with senior defence officials at Bangladesh Military Academy in Chittagong.

Later in the day, Parrikar is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who also holds the defence portfolio.

Parrikar, who is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, is meeting top leadership to firm up an upgraded defence co-operation agreement, which is likely to be signed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to Delhi later this month.

The accompanying Vice Chiefs of Army and Air force and deputy Chief of Navy paid courtesy calls on the respective Service Chiefs of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.

Parrikar, who is leading an 11-member high-power delegation, is the first Indian Defence Minister to visit Bangladesh since 1971.

Issues like bilateral naval and air force exercises, training and capability of Bangladesh defence personnel, supply of military hardware, technology transfer, co-ordinated patrolling of the international maritime boundary, joint surveillance of Exclusive Economic zones and co-operation in maritime resources offer scope for expanded bilateral defence co-operation between the two countries.

As close neighbours sharing strong cultural and historic bonds, India and Bangladesh have a comprehensive and deep bilateral relationship, including defence co-operation.

However, contemporary problems like terrorism and complex geopolitics of the region demand both countries to deepen security ties and expand defence co-operation.

Issues like upgraded military exercises, training and capability building of Bangladesh Armed forces personnel, counter terrorism and counter-piracy offer scope for expanded defence co-operation.

Source: ANI