Bangladesh-Myanmar maritime boundary talks failed

November 18th, 2008 - 2:23 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Nov 18 (DPA) The maritime boundary talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar ended Monday with the two sides agreeing only to hold further talks to resolve their demarcation dispute, officials said.”The issue was a complex one and the two sides agreed to continue their talks on the subject, with the next round of negotiations taking place in Myanmar,” Bangladesh’s foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told the media after talks with visiting Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister U Maung Myint.

Maung led an 11-member Myanmar delegation at the two-day technical consultation to discuss the maritime boundary disputes, which flared over Myanmar’s reported exploration for oil and gas in the Bay of Bengal earlier this month.

During the meeting with Myanmar delegation chief, Iftekhar expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved peacefully though negotiations.

“While we believe in peace, we will do all that is necessary to protect our territory,” he said.

Dhaka had in the talks argued for equity as the basis to resolve the dispute while Yangon insisted that equidistance should be the guiding principle, positions the two countries stuck to since the negotiation began back in 1974.

Bangladesh’s additional foreign secretary MAK Mahmood told reporters his delegation had rejected Myanmar’s proposal for a corridor in the Bay of Bengal.

The Myanmar delegation declined to the media.

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