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The IFR, a commemoration event for the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh, comprised 28 countries to promote goodwill and strengthen cooperation between navies. The U.S. Navy’s participation included the littoral combat ship USS Oakland (LCS 24).
Paparo spoke during the Maritime Discourse on the IFR theme of ‘Friendship Beyond the Horizon’ along with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Bangladesh Chief of Navy Adm. Shaheen Iqbal, and senior naval representatives from eight counties. Paparo addressed the commonality of Sailors and mariners and the common threats including natural disasters, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, international terrorism, and threats to the international rules based order. He commended the Bangladesh Navy for the maneuver and execution of the fleet in review that demonstrated Bangladesh Navy as a great example of naval professionalism.
Additionally, both Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Vice Adm. Saito Akira and Paparo’s remarks addressed the 81st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and the importance of friendship, building relationships and strengthening partnerships as demonstrated in the Japan-U.S. Alliance.
During the trip, Paparo met with senior Bangladesh and regional military officials to discuss the importance of maritime security and interoperability between naval forces in the Indo-Pacific, with a particular focus in the Indian Ocean region.
Bilateral meetings included:
Participation in the IFR affirmed the strong friendship and partnership between Bangladesh and United States navies, which routinely operate together including the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise held since 2015.
The visit to Bangladesh underscored the United States’ commitment to strengthening alliances and partnerships for an enduring free and open Indo-Pacific.