US, B'desh sign deal to improve cargo security at Chittagong

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Dhaka, Nov 17 (UNI) The United States today signed an MoU with Bangladesh to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the country's main sea port of Chittagong.

The United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Bangladesh's Ministry of Shipping and other government agencies signed the MOU in Washington, a release of the US embassy in Dhaka said.

NNSA will provide training to Bangladeshi officials to use this equipment.

The Port of Chittagong is a major cargo container hub in South Asia and a strategic transit point in the international maritime trading system.

''Considering Bangladesh's strategic South Asian location, this agreement is a major step forward in preventing nuclear materials from being smuggled through maritime cargo container traffic,'' said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.

''NNSA appreciates Bangladesh's willingness to cooperate with us in this critical mission and we look forward to continuing our joint efforts.'' The work is part of the Megaports Initiative, a programme under the NNSA's Second Line of Defence Program, which aims to strengthen the capability of foreign governments to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders and through the global maritime shipping system.

The release said the Megaports Initiative provides radiation detection equipment, training, and technical support to key international seaports to scan cargo containers for nuclear and other radioactive materials.

Around the world, the Megaports Initiative is currently operational in 19 ports and work is underway at over 20 additional ports in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the West Asia, and Africa.

UNI XC ARB KN1855

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