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Starting point for demarcation of sea borders not fixed on day one PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Dhaka-Delhi maritime talks

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh and India were unable to agree on fixing a starting point for demarcation of sea borders in the Bay of Bengal, after day one of the three-day maritime conference.
 
The maritime boundary talks resumed Monday after a hiatus of nearly three decades.
 
Rear admiral BR Rao, who led the Indian delegation, told bdnews24.com:
"We had a very good discussion."
 
But the two countries failed at the outset to settle how the mid-point should be measured of the River Hariabhanga, which will be the starting point of the border demarcation.
 
"We have proposed that the middle point should be determined starting from the western side of the Hariabhanga," additional secretary MAK Mahmood, who headed the Bangladesh side at the three-day talks, told reporters.
 
"But India wants to measures it from the eastern side," he said after the conclusion of day one.
 
Mahmood said Bangladesh made its proposal as the navigation channel of the river was on the western side.
 
"Hopefully, India will accept the logic of our request," said Mahmood.
 
Both Bangladesh and India need to demarcate the sea borders to go for oil and gas exploration in the bay.
 
As per the UN agreements, Bangladesh will have to demarcate its sea border by July 2011 while India need to draw her sea boundary by May 2009.
 
Bangladesh, India and Myanmar cannot go for oil gas exploration in the Bay as the three countries have disputes over their sea boundaries.
 
According to UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on Laws of Sea) 1982, Bangladesh's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) will extend for 200 nautical miles, with a further 150 nautical miles of extended continental shelf falling within its maritime boundary.
 
The three-day technical committee talks are meant to prepare the ground for final border delimitation.

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