Bangladesh, Myanmar tensions escalate (Updated)
rahul | November 3, 2008 at 08:11 pmby
569 views | 12 Recommendations | 5 comments
UPDATES: DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - Bangladesh said Tuesday it will send a delegation to Myanmar this week to discuss a territorial dispute, after ships from the neighboring country allegedly intruded into its waters to explore for oil and gas. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, an adviser to the country's interim government, said the delegation, led by top diplomat Touhid Hossain, will travel Wednesday to Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon. Chowdhury said several Myanmar ships had intruded into Bangladeshi waters, apparently for prospecting. Myanmar also claims the deep sea area off Bangladesh's southeast coast, which is believed to contain hydrocarbon reserves. «It will be our endeavor to settle the issue diplomatically,» Chowdhury said. «But let it also be understood that we will do all it takes to protect our sovereignty. The Foreign Ministry summoned Myanmar's envoy in Dhaka twice this week to protest the Myanmar intrusion. Dhaka also urged Yangon to immediately withdraw its ships and stop any exploration until the sea boundary dispute is resolved. A Bangladesh Navy patrol is watching the disputed area. Chowdhury said Bangladesh had refrained from exploration in the disputed area. «It is our hope Myanmar will do the same,» he said. Further discussions between the two sides on the maritime boundary issue are expected to take place Nov. 16-17 in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital.
The Bangladesh government has sent a naval patrol to the Bay of Bengal as a territorial dispute with neighboring Myanmar escalates. A Bangladesh foreign ministry spokesman confirmed in the capital city Dhaka on Sunday that the country has sent a naval patrol near disputed waters in the Bay of Bengal to counter a Myanmar oil exploration fleet. Naval vessels from both countries are said to be facing one another after the Burmese side reportedly began exploring in the area for oil and gas, media reports said Monday. Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi diplomatic mission is being dispatched to Myanmar's capiyal Rangoon in an effort to defuse the escalating row. The Bangladeshi diplomats are expected to arrive in Rangoon on Wednesday. Bangladesh insists that the disputed area lies well within its waters and has formally protested over the issue. Dhaka summoned the Myanmar envoy to lodge a formal protest and to urge the neighbor to remove its vessels from the disputed area. Bangladesh and Myanmar have been holding on-off talks for years to demarcate their borders in the Bay of Bengal, which is considered rich in gas reserves. Bangladesh has demanded the withdrawal of Myanmar forces until the maritime boundary between the two countries can be agreed through negotiations. Myanmar has so far made no public statement on the dispute. JR/MMA Original source at PressTV
Sanjay JhaThese members have powered this story: