The Bangladesh government has a zero-tolerance stance on terrorism, says Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government "maintains a policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism in its all forms and manifestations", the home minister said in meetings with Gambian Interior Minister Seyaka Sonko and Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, the UN under-secretary-general for counterterrorism on Wednesday.
The meetings took place on the sideline of the 3rd UN Chiefs of Police Summit, where the home minister led a delegation accompanied by Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed and other officials from police and the Public Security Division.
Gambian Interior Minister Sonko raised the issue of cooperation between Bangladesh and Gambia on counterterrorism and Khan informed him that Bangladesh would be happy to extend any support in this regard.
Home Minister Khan also spoke to Under-Secretary-General Voronkov about the various initiatives and policies taken by the Bangladesh government and sought cooperation from the UN office of counterterrorism in areas of mutual interest in the future.
Voronkov expressed his appreciation for the good practices of Bangladesh to fight terrorism and prevent violent extremism and welcomed the country to share the story of their success at the High-level Meeting of the Heads of Counter-terrorism in June 2023.
He also named Bangladesh as an important partner of the UN in its efforts to combat terrorism and said he was ready to extend cooperation in relevant fields such as financing of terrorism, nuclear terrorism, capacity building and technical assistance.
The Gambian interior minister applauded Bangladesh’s ‘exemplary’ role and contribution to UN Peacekeeping. He also requested support from Bangladesh, particularly its police force, to train and build the capacity of Gambian peacekeepers. Gambia also needs support in pre-deployment training.
Home Minister Khan said that Bangladesh is ready to support the capacity building of Gambian peacekeepers.
IGP Benazir Ahmed noted Bangladesh Police’s contribution to UN peacekeeping efforts and briefed the Gambian delegation about the country’s capacity to extend training support to the Gambia.
Home Minister Khan also thanked the Gambian delegation for its support in the Rohingya crisis, particularly with the filing of a case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice. Bangladesh has given shelter to the Rohingya temporarily on humanitarian grounds, but it is impossible for Bangladesh to keep the Rohingya for a long time. It is urgent for them to be repatriated to Myanmar, he said. The Gambian interior minister commended Bangladesh for sheltering such a huge population and the two went on to discuss further cooperation in expediting the repatriation effort. The Gambian delegation also lauded Bangladesh’s success in disaster risk management and sought Bangladesh’s support on the issue and the improvement of the condition of their prisons. Both sides agreed to bilateral visits to further explore cooperation between the two countries.