To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps she has taken to strengthen defence and security cooperation with Bangladesh.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she has taken to strengthen defence and security co-operation with Pakistan.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps she has taken to strengthen defence and security cooperation with Sri Lanka.
The UK has strong ties with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which we value and reinforce through regular defence engagement, exercises and training courses.
The Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary visited Islamabad in March 2019 for the annual Defence Cooperation Forum with Pakistan and regular dialogue continues at senior military level. The Pakistan National Defence University visited the UK earlier this year. Bangladesh also held a National Defence College visit.
Defence relations with Sri Lanka were significantly strengthened in 2019 by the appointment of a resident Defence Adviser.
HMS Dragon visited Karachi in February 2019 as part of Exercise AMAN, in which Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also involved. HMS Montrose visited Colombo in April 2019 as part of her deployment in the Indian Ocean and conducted a short exercise with the Sri Lankan Navy.
In addition to bespoke training programmes, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cadets are attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2018-19, and there are members of the Royal College of Defence Studies from all three countries.