Dhaka refuses to retreat, Myanmar withdraws two navy ships

Dhaka refuses to retreat, Myanmar withdraws two navy ships
Anisur Rahman

Dhaka, Nov 7 (PTI) Bangladesh today said it would withdraw its warships deployed in the Bay of Bengal only after Myanmar assures that it would halt gas exploration work in the disputed waters even as Yangon called back two naval vessels from the zone.

"We will keep our presence in the (disputed) region until we are confident about their (Myanmar's) gesture," Foreign Adviser to the interim cabinet Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told PTI today as diplomatic endeavours visibly resulted in the suspension of hydrocarbon exploration by Yangon-engaged South Korean company.

Meanwhile, Yangon overnight withdrew two warships leaving two missile boats at the scene but reports said that they moved some troops in the frontiers along southeast Bangladesh.

"They withdrew two navy ships but we received reports of some troops movement along the border. However they have not shown any offensive posture in the sea or along the land border so far," a defence source said.

According to defence sources five Bangladeshi navy vessels including a frigate and 2 missile boats and two Myanmar missile boats are staying in close proximity while the Korean rig continued the withdrawal process.

"We will do everything to maintain our sovereignty and territory," Chowdhury said, adding he talked to envoys of South Korea and Myanmar's close ally China while Bangladesh ambassadors to the two countries were continuing talks with the Seoul and Beijing authorities to resolve the standoff.

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