India hopes arbitration would help solve maritime disputes


"We think the UN arbitration can resolve the dispute as the bilateral negotiations on the issue could make little headway," Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty told 'Samakal' newspaper.

He said the two countries also did not take much effort to solve the issue bilaterally as "Bangladesh and India had discussions on the issue 22 years ago and twice recently".
Bangladesh had recently decided to seek resolution of its maritime disputes with India and Myanmar in an international tribunal through arbitration, saying the current negotiations with the neighbours were unlikely to settle the issue in the near future.

Meanwhile, Myanmar's envoy said Phae Thann Oo his country was "a little disappointed" by Dhaka's decision earlier this month to seek resolution of its maritime disputes in the UN tribunal.

"We are a little (bit)disappointed. We don't think it is necessary to go for arbitration," he told private UNB news agency.

"What I mean to say, we have an open, ongoing bilateral process on the issue of delimitation -- and it is progressing. We should continue it (and) only when the process has been exhausted without providing a solution, should we go for arbitration," the Myanmarese envoy was quoted as saying.

"They are within their rights to do so, and we respect that."
While announcing its decision to seek arbitration, Bangladesh had said the ongoing negotiations on bilateral basis would continue simultaneously.

Dhaka's move came days after New Delhi and Yangon had formally protested Dhaka's decision to award offshore block-5, 10 and 11 to the International Oil Companies (IOCs) for carrying out exploration and development.

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