Bangladesh lodges formal protest with India over survey ships (Lead)

December 27th, 2008 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 27 (Xinhua) Bangladesh Saturday lodged a formal protest with India over the alleged crossing by three Indian oil and gas survey ships into what it claims to be its waters and called for settling the maritime boundary by “mutual agreement”.Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain, who handed over the formal protest note to India’s High Commissioner to the country Pinak Ranjan Chakravorty, told reporters that Dhaka has asked New Delhi to stop maritime survey or development activities and remove the ships from the area until the maritime boundary is settled.

Talking to reporters, Chakravorty observed that the area in question is an overlapping zone and both India and Bangladesh claim it.

The high commissioner said: “We’re keen that Bangladesh team goes to Delhi to sort out these issues. Otherwise, these overlapping claims will remain and ships from both sides will come.”

He noted that the vessels in question were Jamaican ships chartered by a private company with a licence from the Indian government to conduct the survey.

Hossain said the proposal for discussion is “positive” and Bangladesh would send the technical team to New Delhi by the end of January next year to settle the maritime boundary.

Meanwhile, Foreign Adviser to the Bangladesh government Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury in a statement said: “We are confident that peaceful deliberations and diplomatic measures will ultimately lead to a mutually acceptable solution.”

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