Dhaka, Yangon vow to resolve disputes
Friday, 25 July 2008

Maritime borders

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh and Myanmar have pledged to resolve disputes over their maritime borders in the quickest possible time, the two top foreign officials of the two countries said Wednesday.

Foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and his Myanmar counterpart U Nyan Win during their bilateral talks in Singapore also agreed to boost trade between the two countries.
 
They are now in Singapore to attend a meeting of ASEAN Regional forum.
 
"We discussed issues of common interest including resolving the issue of maritime boundaries at the soonest," Iftekhar said in an email to the media from Singapore.
 
This maritime border demarcation will pave the way for Bangladesh to unhindered oil and gas exploration in the sea in the future.
 
Bangladesh and Myanmar had talks many times in the past years over the demarcation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. But the issue did not get much attention.
 
However, Bangladesh and Myanmar experts on sea-related issues met in Dhaka early this year and decided to hold another round of talks on the issue in Myanmar this year to resolve the dispute.
 
Bangladesh needs to submit its maritime boundary to the International Seabed Authority by 2011 as per the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
 
Bangladesh has maritime boundary disputes with India too.
 
Iftekhar said, "Matters pertaining to trade and possible leasing of land in Myanmar by Bangladesh also featured in our talks".
 
Bangladesh has been lobbying to get Myanmar land for contract farming. Myanmar has also agreed in principle to lease land to Bangladesh farmers to cultivate agricultural products, but is yet to do so.

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