Bangladesh on Saturday asked India to postpone an oil exploration survey in the disputed waters of the Bay of Bengal, leading to a stand-off between the two nations, as Dhaka summoned the Indian envoy to protest the presence of Indian ships in the area.
Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, foreign adviser of the interim government, said Dhaka requested India to postpone the survey in the disputed area till a settlement on the maritime boundary was reached. “This year in September we began our talks with India on maritime boundary demarcation after a gap of 22 years,” Chowdhury said in a statement. “We’re confident that peaceful deliberations and diplomatic measures will ultimately lead to a mutually acceptable solution in this regard.”
Bangladesh summoned Indian high commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty to protest the oil exploration survey by Indian ships in the gas-rich waters, which both the countries lay claim to.
Bangladesh, which had sent three warships to confront the Indian survey vessels, said it expected “peaceful deliberation” would lead to an “acceptable” solution. But a stalemate persisted because the Indian vessels did not leave the area, saying they were in Indian waters.
Bangladesh’s foreign secretary Mohammad Touhid Hossain summoned Chakravarty to protest against the exploration activities in “disputed waters”.