Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh and British launched a joint working group (JWG) Sunday to enhance counter terrorism cooperation between the two countries for combating terrorism.

At the first meeting of JWG, high officials of the two countries initially agreed to strengthen Dhaka’s capacity to combat terrorism by training of law enforcers, intelligence sharing and providing equipment.

But they will finalize the modalities of their cooperation under the group in the next meeting scheduled to be held by the end of this year.

“As terrorists have no boundary and they have their own network and assistance, we need to have our own network and cooperation to counter them,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Hasan Mahmud reportedly told reporters after the meeting at the state guest house Meghna in the capital, Dhaka.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud and UK Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism Lord West led their respective sides at the day-long meeting at state guesthouse Meghna.

Hasan Mahmud led the Bangladesh side while the United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism Lord West led the British delegation in the talks.
At the meeting, Bangladesh sought UK support for strengthening the coast guards to protect maritime boundary, border management and training of our law enforcers, according to the state minister.

Lord West, who came in Dhaka on Saturday on a three-day visit, said “Both of our nations sadly have been victims of terrorism and I think it is very important that we work together in the face of that, counter-terrorism.”

The British minister also said terrorists in Bangladesh and UK could have linked sometimes using information and communication technologies. “All our nations are victim of terrorism and it is important that we need to work together in the face of that threat of terrorism,” he added.

The first meeting of JWG is a follow up of the proposal made by UK Home Secretary Jackie Smith during her trip to Bangladesh in April 2008.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-28June09-5:05 am (BST)