Bangladesh and Indonesia discuss terrorism, trade
JAKARTA: Visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia discussed counterterrorism and trade with Indonesia’s president on Saturday as two of the world’s most populous Muslim nations attempted to strengthen ties.
Indonesia and Bangladesh, which both support the US-led war on terror, are struggling to contain Muslim militants in their countries who are responsible for a series of terrorist attacks.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation and has suffered several bombings in recent years blamed on the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah militant group. Police fear that more bombings are being planned.
Muslim militants have also launched several attacks in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim nation of 140 million people.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda told reporters that Zia and President Megawati Sukarnoputri also discussed reducing tariffs and explored the possibility of negotiating a free trade deal.
Zia, who is one a three-day state visit to Jakarta, told Megawati she also wants to increase Bangladeshi exports to Indonesia, Wirajuda said. Indonesia currently has a trade surplus of nearly US$168 million with Bangladesh. —AP