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Bangladesh-Burma (Myanmar) maritime boundary dispute escalates

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Naval ships from Bangladesh and Burma (Myanmar) are facing off in the Bay of Bengal as a maritime boundary dispute between the two countries escalates. On Wednesday, a Bangladeshi diplomatic mission is expected to arrive in Rangoon (Yangon) to settle the matter peacefully.

According to the BBC, the dispute is unfolding 50 nautical miles southwest of St. Martin's Island, where Burmese ships began oil exploration over the weekend.

Naval vessels from both countries are facing one another after the Burmese side reportedly began exploring in the area for oil and gas.
Bangladesh insists that the area lies well within its waters and has formally protested over the issue.

On Monday, Bangladesh vowed to take "all possible measures" to protect its territorial integrity, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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."
His comments came a day after Bangladesh summoned Myanmar's envoy to hand over a "strong protest note" over the reported intrusion of vessels from its southeastern neighbour to carry out oil exploration activities.

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