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US has no military base in Bangladesh: envoy
 
DHAKA, March 4 (BSS) -US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena today said his country did not have any military base in Bangladesh despite Dhaka's strong security partnership with United States.

"There is no base (US) in Bangladesh," he told newsmen as
asked for comments on a recent report remark by a Pentagon
commander that the US Special Forces were present in five South
Asian countries, including Bangladesh as part of capacity
building in counter-terrorism efforts.

The envoy, however, added that "small teams" from his
country were frequently visiting Bangladesh "for training
purpose".

"I think it (report on US base) was creative and there is no
base. We have cooperation with Bangladesh and it is all about
partnership," Mozena said.

He said the Washington's "strong and dynamic" security
partnership with Bangladesh included areas like trafficking,
drugs and weapon smuggling, maritime boundary and land border
while "we have been working together for many years to fight
against terrorism".

The envoy's comment came as he visited the headquarters of
Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Detective Branch to exchange view
with police officials about expanded police cooperation between
the two countries particularly to combat threats of terrorism.

On February 2, BBC carried a report quoting US Pacific
Commander Admiral Robert Willard that US Special Forces were
present in five South Asian countries, including Bangladesh and
India, as part of capacity building in counter-terrorism efforts.

The US ambassador's comment came as Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina's foreign relations adviser Professor Gawher Rizvi earlier
rejected as "untrue" the report as appeared in newspapers giving
an idea that "US troops are staying in Bangladesh".

"As part of strategic cooperation to fight terrorism, the US
troops often come to Bangladesh to take part in joint training
exercises . . . Bangladesh forces also visit different US
military institutions on identical purposes," Rizvi said.

He said Bangladesh was also engaged in identical military
cooperation also with several other countries including Britain
and Australia.

Earlier in a written statement Mozena said over the past
decade, his country provided over $ 19 million assistance to
train and equip Bangladesh police with extra efficiency to fight
terrorism.

"This assistance has trained thousands of Bangladesh Police
Officers and helped the Dhaka Metro Police establish and equip
three units -- Bomb Disposal Unit, Swat team, and Counter
Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit -- to fight against
terrorism," he said.

Mozena said "America is helping introduce a new mindset to
the police, turning away from the traditional policing conceprt
based on force to one based on service ----- ----- service to the
very community whom the police are sworn to protect".

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed
thanked the US envoy for their assistance to enhance professional
excellence and capacity building of the Bangladesh Police in
combat terrorism and hoped for future assistance.

"Police are the first responders. So it is necessary to
equip and train the police personnel properly as the security of
the people can be ensured," he also said.

Among others, DMP Joint Commissioner of DB Sheikh Mohammad
Maruf Hasan, its Deputy Commissioner Monirul Islam spoke on the
occasion.
 
 
 
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