The United States would like to pursue the stalled Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the new government in Bangladesh for smooth military-to-military cooperation between Dhaka and Washington.

"We've not dropped the idea. We've this agreement with many countries around the world. It makes easier military-to-military cooperation and exchanges," U.S. Ambassador Mary Ann Peters said in Dhaka on Thursday.

Briefing a group of journalists at the U.S. Centre in Dhaka, Peters said the U.S. and Bangladesh had been carrying out military exercises and training over the years, but every time it requires the signing of an MOU by the two sides which is a delaying process.

If there is an arrangement such as SOFA, an MOU would not be required and things would be easier, she noted. Asked if the U.S. would pursue the matter with the new government in Bangladesh, the envoy said she had not yet raised the matter with the government.

But she added: "Certainly we would like to pursue some arrangement with the new government to rationalise the arrangement for military cooperation."

The United States had first made the proposal for signing SOFA with the previous Awami League government. But it could not proceed in the face of a controversy and protest in political circles.

Peters, however, made it clear that "it is not a basing agreement. It has nothing to do with any American desire to establish some kind of military base in Bangladesh".

Referring to controversies over the alleged corruption involving C-130B aircraft Bangladesh received from the U.S. last year, the Ambassador said the U.S. government, under the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) programme, delivered four C-130B aircraft as a "gift" to Bangladesh.

The U.S. ambassador stated that the four C-130B airplanes were given on the basis of grants – not sold to Bangladesh to enhance the country's capability in peace-keeping operations, exercises or any other operation by the Bangladesh Air Force.

She dismissed alleged corruption in the acquisition of the aircraft, saying that there is no way that anyone here can interfere in the procedures set in the EDA or make money out of it.

Asked about the much-talked-about export of gas and apparent U.S. interest in the committee report on it by June, Peters said it is a decision to be taken by the people of Bangladesh because potential benefits out of its exploitation in many ways will accrue to Bangladesh, not to the U.S.