The US intends to deepen ties with Bangladesh in combating terrorism in view of this country's growing exposure to extremist groups, an American diplomat in Dhaka said on Saturday.
"We hope to work with Bangladesh's police to help build capacity to fight crime and build stronger ties with local communities," the diplomat, who wished not to be named, told PTI, reacting to media reports that the US offered increased assistance to Dhaka in dealing with militancy.
Asked to explain the existing cooperation, the diplomat, who is also a spokesman at the US embassy in Dhaka, said Dhaka and Washington "work closely together to fight terrorism" with the US providing training to police and law enforcement personnel.
"We've also assisted in efforts to stop terrorist financing and address the root causes of extremism."
The spokesman said the US placed "increasing" emphasis on fighting terrorism in South Asia. "We seek to build upon existing programmes. We appreciate the Government of Bangladesh's strong commitment to fighting terrorism."
Asked what Washington thought about Bangladesh's exposure to Islamist militancy as well as the feared outbreak of an ultra-left campaign in southwestern region, he said this was unlikely to affect the country's "moderate outlook."
Replying to another question, he said the United States wanted to offer its assistance for maritime security as "it is important for Bangladesh to have the ability to effectively control its maritime borders."