BD envoy: BIMSTEC must boost its security, economic cooperation
Dhaka Tribune , Aug 20, 2018
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali has called on Bimstec nations to enhance their cooperation on security to "defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."
He was speaking at a panel discussion on Monday, in New Delhi, with heads of mission from Bimstec member states. He was in India ahead of the fourth Bimstec summit, scheduled to be held in Kathmandu from August 30-31, reports UNB.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to attend the summit of the 21-year-old regional grouping that comprises: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Referring to Sheikh Hasina's zero-tolerance approach to terrorism and violent extremism, Syed Muazzem said Bangladesh’s land is off-limits to any terrorist activities.
“Bangladesh will not allow any terrorist group to launch an attack against India or any other neighbouring country,” he said, according to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
The envoy said that security cooperation among Bimstec countries has increased. "I firmly believe that within Bimstec , we should be able to strengthen our cooperation to address terrorism and rising of violent extremism," he said.
Syed Muazzem said the foreign policy initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government are focused on building stronger regional economic and technical cooperation.
Bangladesh sees the Bimstec forum as a tool for economic development through regional integration.
The envoy mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was one of the four founding leaders who had inspired the launch of the Bimstec in 1997.
"Her government attaches a high priority to transforming the Bimstec process into a more dynamic, and effective organization— and to strengthen the institutional mechanism to bring about more results," he said.
Syed Muazzem listed: comprehensive connectivity, regional trade, cooperation in the energy sector, and a joint fight against poverty, as areas of Bimstec cooperation that can benefit the 1.5 billion-strong population.
The panel discussion was organized by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Ahead of BIMSTEC Summit meeting, Heads of Missions call for conclusion of FTA negotiations, trade facilitation measures