The Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry of Bangladesh, Mr Abdul Karim, together with Australia’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Mr Douglas Foskett, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism. The signing ceremony took place in Dhaka.
The Memorandum will facilitate greater cooperation between Australia and Bangladesh to prevent and suppress international terrorism. It will provide a framework for operational agencies to cooperate in areas such as information and intelligence exchange, law enforcement activities, money laundering and the financing of international terrorism, and the development of effective counter-terrorism legal instruments.
Australia and Bangladesh have developed a constructive and expanding relationship both bilaterally and in the international arena since Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971. We have strong trade, people-to-people and sporting links and Australia has a significant development cooperation program with Bangladesh.
The Australian Government is also sending three election observers to help monitor Bangladesh’s 29 December national elections. Australia will also provide approximately $1 million to support the Asia Foundation’s election program in Bangladesh.
Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, will be monitoring the elections a part of a delegation from the National Democratic Institute and Federal Member of Parliament, the Hon Dr Sharman Stone, will monitor the elections as part of the Commonwealth election observer mission.
Australia has concluded bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation MOUs with thirteen countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Fiji, East Timor, Pakistan, Brunei, India, PNG, Afghanistan and Turkey. The conclusion of the MOUs reflects the importance Australia and its partner countries place on close and effective cooperation between governments against international terrorism.
Media Release Stephen Smith (Minister For Foreign Affairs)
28th December 2008