‘Expect victory over maritime dispute with India’
Last Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012, 00:04
Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her party would work for ensuring victory on maritime dispute with India if it was reelected to power in 2014 elections.

"In the case with Myanmar, we got the verdict in our favour. We expect another victory when the judgement over the dispute with India is announced in 2014," she told a party rally.

Hasina said after coming to power in 2009, her government filed cases with the international court over maritime boundary disputes with Myanmar and India.

Her comments came a day after new Indian envoy in Dhaka Pankaj Saran said New Delhi was willing to resolve its maritime dispute with Bangladesh through bilateral negotiations as Dhaka won an international tribunal verdict against Myanmar on an identical dispute earlier this week.

"I conveyed to the honourable foreign minister (Dipu Moni) 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 told newsmen after his first meeting with foreign minister Dipu Moni yesterday.

Asked for comments on International Tribunal on laws of the Sea's verdict over maritime disputes with Myanmar as Dhaka also has identical disputes with India, the envoy said "all issues were on the table of discussion".

"India would love to continue to discuss those issues bilaterally...even today we had healthy and productive dialogue with the foreign minister," 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 kept options open for solving the disputes bilaterally though it sought the resolution in the international tribunal as the negotiations in the past several decades yielded no result.

The German-based international tribunal's verdict on March 14 on dispute with Myanmar largely came in Bangladesh's favour on the basis of 'equitable' solutions.

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

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


First Published: Monday, March 19, 2012, 00:04

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