India, Bangladesh setting new benchmarks in maritime cooperation
Maritime cooperation is an important component of India-Bangladesh bilateral ties
Two Indian Coast Guard ships, the ICGS Shaurya and ICGS Rajveer, sailed into Chittagong last Friday on a six-day visit with the goal of enhancing maritime cooperation between India and Bangladesh. The ships were given a warm welcome by the Bangladesh Coast Guard.
Later, an Indian Coast Guard training team held a session on pollution response for Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) personnel at the BCG base. Additionally, the two ships hosted 30 students from the Bangladesh Navy School and College in Chittagong. The students were given a guided tour of the ships, which gave them an up-close look at and understanding of the various equipment there.
The commanding officers of the Indian Coast Guard ships Shaurya and Rajveer also held a meeting with Rear Admiral Nazmul Hassan, Commander Chittagong Naval Area. They addressed a number of issues of shared interest related to defence cooperation and maritime security.
The commanding officers also met with the Bangladesh East Zone Zonal Commander Captain Mohammad Sohel Azam.
The visit by the Indian Coast Guard ships is significant since maritime cooperation is an important component of India-Bangladesh bilateral ties.
With Bangladesh securing 19,467 square kilometers of the 25,602 square kilometers of water space in the Bay of Bengal, these two neighbors peacefully delineated their maritime boundary in 2014, setting a model for collaboration for all nations with maritime issues.
Due to the frequent visits of ships between the Navies and Coast Guards of India and Bangladesh, the relationship, which had long-standing ties in every other area of cooperation, has grown stronger over the years. This is because the visits help to increase mutual trust and understanding between the two nations and their armed forces.
Both nations have made several gestures that highlight their close ties and how heavily maritime issues are entwined in their respective cultures. India has approved six agreements aimed at fostering marine cooperation under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These agreements include memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on passenger and cruise services on protocol routes, fairway development, navigational cooperation, joint patrols, and counterterrorism training.
India has not only put its economy but also its maritime security at the forefront of its maritime accords.
India has provided training for Bangladesh's navy crews. Additionally, one of the six agreements reached during Prime Minister Modi's visit to Bangladesh in June 2015 was a memorandum of understanding between the coast guards of the two nations intended to fight piracy and improve maritime security in the Bay of Bengal.
The recent incident in which the Indian Coast Guard saved 20 Bangladeshis and turned them over to their country under extraordinary circumstances underscored another aspect of the mutually beneficial relationship.