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“BIMSTEC must boost its security”

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International Live: Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali has called on BIMSTEC nations to enhance their security cooperation to “Defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”. He was speaking at a panel discussion today with heads of mission from

BIMSTEC member states in India ahead of the fourth BIMSTEC summit scheduled
to be held in Kathmandu on August 30-31, according to a press release received here. The panel discussion was organised by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), an apex business organisation and think-tank in India.

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 Ali said Bangladeshi land is off-limit to any terrorist activities. Dhaka, he said, does not allow any terrorist group to launch attack against India or any other neighbouring country.

The envoy said 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 rise of violent extremism,” he said. Syed Muazzem Ali said the foreign policy initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government are focused on building stronger regional economic and technical cooperation.

Bangladesh sees BIMSTEC forum as a tool for economic development through regional integration. “We draw inspiration for peace and development from Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who in his speech on February 6, 1972 in Kolkata had said, “Let there be an end, once for all, to the sterile policy of confrontation between neighbours. Let us not fritter away our national resources but use them to lift the standard of living of our people… We want to cooperate with all concerned for creating an area of peace in South Asia.”

The envoy mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was one of the four founding leaders who had inspired the launching of the BIMSTEC in 1997. “Her government attaches high priority to transform the BIMSTEC process more dynamic, effective and to strengthening the institutional mechanism for bringing out more results,” he said, adding that hosting the BIMSTEC Secretariat since 2014 in Dhaka is a testimony of our commitment to the BIMSTEC process.

Syed Muazzem Ali listed comprehensive connectivity, regional trade, cooperation in energy sector and joint fight against poverty as areas of BIMSTEC cooperation for the benefit of its 1.5 billion population.

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Dhaka, 20 August (campuslive24.com)//IM


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