A new territorial dispute in the Bay of Bengal
The Burmese navy has withdrawn two of its warships from an area in the Bay of Bengal 50 nautical miles south-west of Bangladesh’s St Martin’s Island. Bangladesh is to withdraw its four ships after the intruding commercial gas exploration ships leave the scene. (via Information Dissemination)
It appears that the standoff ended without shots being fired. But not before a war of words.
Bangladesh’s foreign minister Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said he had warned Myanmar’s envoy to Dhaka that “all steps would be taken to protect the sovereignty and territory of Bangladesh.” [AFP]
A senior official from Myanmar’s military government said they were open to talks, but insisted that oil and gas companies were operating inside their territory and far away from the disputed sea boundary. “We will try to solve this peacefully, but we are also ready to protect our country if needed … we will not tolerate being insulted, although we do want good will. We will continue with exploration,” [AFP]