US to back Dhaka proposals for S.Asia anti-terrorism taskforce
A senior US State Department official Saturday assured that Washington would support Bangladesh's proposal for a regional anti-terrorism taskforce in South Asia, dpa reported.
"It is a good idea. We will see how other countries in the region react. We will look forward to supporting it, if needed," the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard A Boucher, said after a meeting with Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun.
Boucher arrived in Dhaka on a two-day official visit for talks with senior officials and top political leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and opposition leader Khaleda Zia.
It was the first visit by any US official since Bangladesh returned to democratic system, ending two years rule of military- backed government through the landmark elections on December 29, 2008. Hasina's Awami League-led alliance won a sweeping victory in the elections.
At the meeting with Khatun, Boucher said that the US will also extend cooperation to Bangladesh so terrorists cannot use its soil.
"That's an important aspect of our cooperation. We've a lot of cooperation. We help improve the quality of policing," he said, adding that he talked about the areas where the two countries might continue to cooperate.
Boucher is also scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and state minister for foreign affairs Hasan Mahmood on Sunday. He is likely to focus on an ongoing negotiations for the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between Bangladesh and the US.
The US assistant secretary, who last visited Bangladesh in May 2007, wraps up his Dhaka visit Sunday night and will travel then to New Delhi.