Since international security is one of the key elements of discussion, will the current situation of Afghanistan feature in the meeting? What role do you want to see from Bangladesh on this issue?
Obviously Afghanistan is part of it. But from the wider regional security issue, we are seriously concerned about what is happening in Myanmar. There is a wider range of instability in the region and I suppose if you look at the international scene, at the instability caused by what Russia has done, it has immediate effect in Europe and it has a global impact.
There is a lot of interest in the Indo-Pacific Region. Different countries put forward their strategies. We have our own integrated review that was published last year which has an Indo-Pacific dimension. This is a part of the world where there is a lot of interest and it is a good opportunity as friends to sit down and look at how that affects us. There will be quite a wide range of issues to be discussed.
We know that there is a competition among the European nations to sell sophisticated jets to Bangladesh Air Force. Will the issue come up in the discussions?
Yes, we will be talking about equipment issues. But I don't want to get into the precise details.
So you are interested in selling sophisticated military equipment to Bangladesh Armed Forces?
It is for Bangladesh to decide what it needs. If Bangladesh decides this is the capability it needs, it is worth saying that I think the tragedy of the last week reminded everybody that defence forces are very important to preserving sovereignty and we would certainly argue that Eurofighter will be a very good investment for preserving sovereignty. And the same thing would apply to Offshore Trovas ships.
As Bangladesh has demarcated its economic area in the Bay of Bengal and the ability to protect those maritime resources and develop the blue economy is very important. These ships could be extremely useful in delivering effective economic solutions and to enable Bangladesh to protect and exploit economic resources in the Bay of Bengal. The point is we are not thrusting these things at Bangladesh. If Bangladesh Armed Forces decide that they need particular capabilities, we are happy to make those capabilities available for Bangladesh.