Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maritime Talks End without Progress

Narinjara News
November 18, 2008

Two-day long talks on the maritime dispute between Burma and Bangladesh ended yesterday without any progress on the issue, stated a report.

The report said, "The talk ended inconclusively with Myanmar's refusal to accept the 92 degree, 17 minutes, and 30 seconds longitude as the maritime boundary."

The Burmese delegation did not recognize Bangladesh's proposed maritime boundary line at the meeting and made no comment about stopping Burma's offshore exploration work while the dispute was worked out.

Bangladesh requested Burma to stop exploring for gas and oil in a disputed maritime area until a resolution was reached between the two countries.

However, Bangladesh Additional Foreign Secretary MAK Mahmood said that the talks ended fruitfully and the two sides agreed to sit again for further discussion on the maritime dispute.

Foreign Secretary MAK Mahmood led a 12-member Bangladesh team at the meeting while the 11-member Burmese team was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Maung Myint.

Both sides agreed to hold another round of discussion on the issue in January of 2009 in Burma.

The talk was the third round this year on the issue and was held under the moniker of "Technical-level Committee" of Bangladesh and Burma, and occurred on 16 and 17 November.

Meanwhile, the border tension between the two countries remains high and many armed forces are taking up positions in the mountain ranges and jungle along both sides of the border.

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