Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to share prior info on use of airspace near border
Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to share prior information on any flying of drones/aircrafts/helicopters at the border of the two close neighboring countries to avoid misunderstandings and any untoward situation. Besides, they also decided to exchange information about any incident of firing/shooting/explosion/ movement of security forces at the border. The decisions were taken during the 8th Senior Level Border Conference between the respective border security forces, the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and Myanmar's Border Guard Police (BGP) held at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar, that ended with the signing of Joint Records of Discussion (JRD) on November 27. Major General Shakil Ahmed, Director General (DG) of Border Guard Bangladesh, who led a 10-member delegation at the border conference, revealed it at a press briefing at BGB headquarters here on Tuesday. Briefing reporters, Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed said that they have taken up the issue of some incidents of airspace violations along the border during the conference. "We also requested our counterpart to share prior information if they need to fly a drone or a chopper in the border area," he said. After discussion, both BGB and BGP agreed to maintain the border norms and practices and to share information with each other about any incident of firing/shooting/explosion/ movement of security forces at the border including early information of any flying of drones/aircrafts/helicopters to avoid misunderstanding and untoward situation. The Myanmar side took note of the concerns of Bangladesh on the issues of landmine and electrification of the border fence. During the border conference, the DG BGB expressed his grave concern over the ongoing unstable security situation in close proximity to the international boundary inside Myanmar and urged the BGP to adopt necessary measures in arresting the situation. Read more: BGB-BGP flag meeting ends with Myanmar officially regretting border incidents He also highlighted the need for joint efforts of both forces in curbing the drugs and narcotics inflow to Bangladesh from Myanmar and combating different trans-national crimes including illegal border crossing and sought cooperation from BGP. The DG BGB also reiterated the national concern about the early repatriation of the Rohingyas, officially referred to as Displaced Myanmar Nationals from Rakhine temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh and solicited appropriate endeavors from the Myanmar side to that end. Recognizing the significance of information sharing to maintain peace and law enforcement in the border areas, both sides agreed to share information by various means on a timely basis between the designated contact points at various levels. Both sides also agreed to collaborate with each other actively and effectively to prevent the activities of trans-border criminal gangs by sharing real-time information. Besides, the conference also agreed that Bangladesh will maintain a 'Zero Tolerance' policy with all-out efforts to prevent illicit drugs and psychotropic substances especially Yaba and Crystal Meth ICE trafficking along the border and the Myanmar side will continue anti-drugs measures following its national drug control policy. Based upon the local situation, both sides agreed to arrange a seminar/symposium about the negative impact of drugs to facilitate public awareness amongst the bordering people, he said. Both sides also agreed to work jointly to improve the present border situation through information sharing and informing respective appropriate agencies/authorities and pursue to keep the border stable and peaceful for bordering people. Read more: BGB wide awake along border with Myanmar: DG Police Major General Aung Naing Thu, Deputy Chief of Myanmar Police Force (MPF), who led a 15-member Myanmar delegation in the conference, emphasized Myanmar's adherence to the Border Agreement-1980 and he urged to enhance bilateral cooperation in combating illicit drugs and psychotropic substances and to prevent illegal border crossing. He also urged to resume coordinated patrols between the two guarding forces to counter the potential threats posed by terrorist groups along the border, relayed the DG BGB.