DHAKA, March 14: Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the UN’s International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea has recognised the South Asian nation’s claims to a full 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone in the Bay of Bengal.
The verdict issued on Wednesday in Hamburg, Germany, settled a long-standing dispute between Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar.
Bangladesh, angry over Myanmar’s claim of rights to the disputed sea area, filed the case with the tribunal in 2009.
Myanmar had claimed that its maritime boundary with Bangladesh cut directly across the Bangladesh coastline, severely limiting Bangladesh’s maritime jurisdiction to a narrow wedge of sea extending about 130 miles.
Myanmar, which shares a 170-mile of land border with Bangladesh, also claimed that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to award continental shelf rights beyond 200 miles from either state’s coast.
But the tribunal rejected both of these arguments.
“The judgment is final and without appeal,” Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The verdict is seen as an opportunity for energy-starved Bangladesh, which is seeking new sources of gas amid a forecast that its current reserves will run out by 2014-15.—AP