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India, Bangladesh hold HS-level talks to discuss security issues

New Delhi: India and Bangladesh discussed “early completion” of the pending fencing work along the international border they share as they reiterated their commitment to addressing issues related to terrorism and extremism during the home secretary-level talks held on Saturday, an official statement said.

The 19th edition of the dialogue was held online in the backdrop of ‘MujibBarsho’, 50 years of the Bangladesh Liberation War, and the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla led the Indian side, while the Bangladeshi delegation was headed by a senior secretary, the public security division of the neighboring country’s ministry of home affairs, Mostafa Kamal Uddin.

“India and Bangladesh attach the highest importance to their bilateral relations. Both secretaries reiterated their commitment to further expand and strengthen mutual cooperation in the security and border-related issues,” the Home Ministry statement said.

“Both sides reaffirmed not to allow the territory of either country to be used for any activity inimical to each other’s interests,” it further added.

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It added that both the sides discussed early completion of pending fencing along the India-Bangladesh Border (IBB) as agreed by the prime ministers of the two countries.

The talks “appreciated the cooperation between the two countries and the action taken to address the menace of terrorism and extremism in an effective manner.”

It said effective functioning of the coordinated border management plan (CBMP) to control the illegal cross-border activities was appreciated by both sides.

“The holding of the inaugural Police Chiefs’ Dialogue in January 2021 implementing the decision taken at the Home Minister Level Talks (HMLT) held in August 2019, was noted with appreciation by both sides,” the statement said.

The two countries also agreed to “further enhance the level of cooperation to prevent the smuggling of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) and contraband”.

The statement said Bangladesh “appreciated” assistance provided by India in the field of training and capacity building for various security agencies.

“Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of security and border-related cooperation and agreed to work closely to fulfill the shared vision of the leadership of the two countries,” it said.

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