`India ready to resolve maritime row with B`desh`

India agreed to discuss all issues, including maritime disputes, with Bangladesh bilaterally.

Dhaka: India on Saturday agreed to discuss all
issues, including maritime disputes, with Bangladesh
bilaterally, amid efforts by the two neighours to take their
relationship to a new level.

Pankaj Saran, the new Indian envoy in Dhaka, today met
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and underlined India`s commitment
to work with Bangladesh bilaterally on all issues that affects
their ties.

"India would love to continue to discuss those issues
bilaterally...even today we had healthy and productive
dialogue with the foreign minister," Saran said told reporters
after the meeting.

Earlier this week, Bangladesh`s foreign ministry claimed
victory in its vexed maritime dispute with Myanmar at a UN
tribunal, giving it crucial rights on outer Continental Shelf
in the Bay of Bengal.

"We have achieved more than what we expected," Moni said
on March 14, reacting to the verdict given by the
International Tribunal for Laws of the Sea (ITLOS) at Humburg
in Germany.

A separate case has also been filed by Bangladesh against
India with another European court in the Netherlands and the
verdict is likely to come up in 2014.

Responding to questions on the UN Tribunal`s verdict as
Bangladesh has identical disputes with India, the Indian envoy
said "all issues were on the table of discussion".

"I conveyed to the honourable foreign minister that it
(verdict against Myanmar) was an important decision. And we
look forward to working with Bangladesh bilaterally on the
issues that affects Dhaka and New Delhi," Saran said.

Bangladesh in 2010 decided to go for international
arbitration in line with the provisions of UN Convention on
the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the ongoing discussions with
India and Myanmar could not yield the expected results.

Dhaka earlier said it has kept the option open for
solving the dispute bilaterally even though it sought the
resolution in the international tribunal as negotiations over
the past several decades had failed to yield results.

The German-based International Tribunal for the Law of
the Sea (ITLOS) verdict on the dispute with Myanmar largely
came in Bangladesh`s favour on the basis of `equitable`
solutions.

Bangladesh has been pursuing the same `equitable`
solution formula with India, which has been advocating
equidistance formula that limits Bangladesh maritime area in
the Bay of Bengal.

The bilateral political and economic relations between
India and Bangladesh has seen unprecedented improvement since
the Awami League-led government under Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina was formed in 2009. The two governments have underlined
their determination to take their ties to unprecedented level
in the coming years.

PTI

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