Bangladesh-Kuwait Defense Cooperation

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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 13: The people and Government of Bangladesh will remain ever grateful to Kuwait for being the first Gulf country to recognize Bangladesh in 1973 after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971. Both the country established diplomatic relations in 1974. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, with the passage of time relation between the two friendly countries has reached a new height with the visionary leadership of both the country.

Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed is seen with Defence Minister H.E Sheikh Ahmed Fahad during his visit to Kuwait

Bangladesh sincerely acknowledges the immense contribution of the state of Kuwait in nation-building efforts through different bilateral relations and in particular by hosting a large number of Bangladeshi expats and financial support through the Kuwait Fund. Bangladesh as a trusted friend, stood firm in the need of time. Bangladesh joined in Coalition Force against the invasion by Iraq in 1990. Since 1991 till to date, Bangladesh Armed Forces in collaboration with Kuwait Armed Forces have been actively engaged in “Operation Kuwait Punorgothon”.

To save the lives and properties of brotherly Kuwaiti people, members of the Bangladesh Army made sincere and extensive search-clearance-demolition operations against the menace of vastly and densely scattered mines and explosives from Kuwaiti soil. Presently, being divided into 11 contingents, skilled personnel of Bangladesh Armed Forces have been providing technical and vocational expertise in the fields of engineering, medicine, communication, security, administration, etc. to rebuild Kuwait for the past 32 years.

So far 96 Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel sacrificed their lives while serving in Kuwait. Bangladesh Army supported the friendly country Kuwait in to fight against the deadly pandemic COVID-19 by sending a medical team comprising 30 Doctors and 70 ICU Assistants who played an admirable role in controlling the COVID-19 situation in Kuwait for 10 months. Bangladesh gracefully appreciates the friendly country Kuwait especially His Highness Amir, His Highness Crown Prince, and His Excellency Defense Minister for hosting the Bangladeshi contingent for the last 32 years.

The time-tested relationship between the Armed Forces is very special and unique in nature. To strengthen existing military relations, on the invitation of the Acting Chief of General Staff of Kuwait Armed Forces, Chief of Army Staff (CAS)of Bangladesh Army, General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed, SBP (BAR), OSP, ndu, psc, PhD visited Kuwait from 31 July to 03 August 2023. With the recent visit of CAS, the Bangladesh Army has opened new areas of defense cooperation to boost existing defense engagements. General Shafi met with the Defense Minister, Acting Chief of General Staff, and high officials of the Ministry of Defense (MOD), Ministry of Interior (MOI), and Kuwait National Guard (KNG). During the meetings, all of them have shown keen interest in employing more skilled manpower in the near future. Consequently, a Kuwait Armed Forces delegation already visited Bangladesh in August and another high-level delegation is scheduled to visit in the last week of September 2023.

The delegation will visit a few factories under the Bangladesh Armed Forces to explore future cooperation. Along with the Minister, Senior officers of MOD, MOI, and KNG have been invited to visit Bangladesh. These visits are likely to be held in the near future. On the other hand, a team from the Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC), Bangladesh is coming to Kuwait for a visit in September 2023. KNG and the Bangladesh Army are likely to engage in cooperation in the fields of training, exercise, and exchange of experts. Both the Armed Forces are also actively considering opening new arenas of cooperation in the logistics field.

The recent visit of CAS, the Bangladesh Army to Kuwait was very successful and mutually beneficial for both sides. Kuwait recognizes the professional attitudes of Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel for their dedication, hard work, courage, brilliance, and skill. The defense cooperation between Bangladesh and Kuwait has gained further momentum with this visit and more avenues have opened up. The contribution and excellent efforts of BMC will continue to make rewarding relations between the two countries. The government of Bangladesh is committed to further strengthening bilateral relations in the defense sector in the future with the brotherly and friendly country, the state of Kuwait.

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