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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
US seeks Bangladesh assistance
US Navy aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Gulf
The US is seeking access to port facilities for its navy
By Kamal Ahmed in Dhaka

The United States has asked Bangladesh for the use of its ports and airports in the event of possible attacks against Afghanistan.

Bangladeshi officials say the caretaker government has been consulting senior political and military leaders about the US request.

The request was made during a weekend meeting between the US ambassador in Dhaka and Bangladesh's Foreign Secretary, Shafi Sami.

The US has said it has fully identified all those responsible for the attack on New York and Washington, and its response may require access to sea and airport facilities of friendly countries throughout the world.

Early response

A Bangladeshi official said that the US had specifically asked for the right to fly over its territory.

Bangladeshis hold a candle-light vigil in Dhaka
Bangladeshis were shocked at the attack
It also wants access to the sea port, airfields and refuelling facilities for US vessels and aircraft.

He also said that Bangladesh's assistance may be needed at short notice.

The US has said it is prepared to work on a procedure to ensure that the actions of both the governments are well coordinated.

America has requested a response as early as possible in order to help continue its planning.

The Bangladesh official told the BBC that Dhaka is discussing the US request.

A non-party caretaker administration headed by the chief adviser, Latifur Rahman, is in charge of the government ahead of the general elections which are due on 1 October.

See also:

17 Sep 01 | South Asia
Pakistan seeks Bin Laden surrender
17 Sep 01 | Americas
Bush ponders hits on terror chiefs
16 Sep 01 | Americas
Q&A: Military options
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