US to provide naval ship to Bangladesh

Mozena tells seminar

Staff Correspondent

The US will provide a well-equipped naval ship to enhance the strength of the Bangladesh Navy in November as part of the military cooperation for bolstering the latter’s maritime security, the US ambassador said yesterday.

“I am eagerly waiting for November when the 378-foot long ship is due to arrive in the Bay of Bengal,” Dan W Mozena told a seminar at the capital’s Brac Centre.

The Centre for East Asia Foundation and the US Embassy jointly organised the seminar on US-Bangladesh relations and security in the Bay.

The ship named “Samudra Joi” (conqueror of the sea) is going to be the “most capable” military vessel in the Bangladesh Navy to remain in a “tough form” in the Bay and the country’s newly demarcated maritime boundary, he said.

The US has already trained the navy personnel to man the ship to better secure the maritime resources and prevent robbery, piracy, trafficking of people and illegal arms, said Mozena.

Both the US and Bangladesh have strategic and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region that is going to emerge as the fastest growing economic zone in the 21st century, he said.

Replying to a question whether the US is planning to build a military base in Bangladesh coast as part of its Seventh Fleet Pacific Command, Mozena said it was an absurd and laughable idea.

Prof Ataur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Political Association, who made a keynote presentation, said the Bay was the lifeline of Bangladesh in terms of economy and security.

Former minister Dr Osman Faruk, Editor of strategic affairs at The Daily Star Brig Gen (retd) Shahedul Anam Khan, and Director General of Bangladesh Coast Guard Rear Admiral Kazi Sarwar Hossain also spoke.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jun, among some foreign dignitaries, was present at the seminar chaired by former ambassador M Humayun Kabir.


Original Article