Bangladesh protests Myanmar’s intrusion into its sea area

November 2nd, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Nov 2 (DPA) Bangladesh has protested Myanmar’s reported intrusion across its maritime boundary for oil and gas exploration, asking Yangon to stop such activities on its territory, local media said Sunday.Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain called in Myanmar’s ambassador to Dhaka, U Phae Thann Oo, to request an immediate stop to any exploration in the disputed territory, the reports said.

A protest note “categorically emphasized that the government of Bangladesh reserves the right to protect its interests and urged the government of Myanmar to ensure the withdrawal of their marine vessels and stoppage of any exploration work until the delimitation of maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar is resolved,” a foreign ministry statement said.

The note mentioned the reported intrusion of Myanmar vessels near Bangladesh deep sea block 08-13, where Myanmar authorities started oil and gas exploration in Bangladesh territory of the Bay of Bengal.

They said that Myanmar breached its commitment with Bangladesh that none of the sides will go for mineral explorations in the areas unless their disputes were settled through dialogue.

Bangladesh also intensified naval patrols in the Bay of Bengal near the disputed site. Both Bangladesh and Myanmar claim ownership of the area in the Bay of Bengal, foreign ministry sources said.

The Myanmar authorities’ exploration began at a time when the two neighbours were in dialogue to demarcate their maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal, believed to have abundant mineral resources.

A first round of talks in April ended inconclusively in Dhaka, while both sides agreed to continue the dialogue.

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