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Bangladeshi Officials in Burma to Discuss Gas Exploration Dispute


Bangladesh's foreign secretary is in Burma to try to resolve a dispute between the two neighbors about oil and gas exploration rights in the Bay of Bengal.

Touhid Hossain and other Bangladeshi officials are expected to discuss the issue with Burma's military leadership on Thursday.

Bangladesh deployed several warships to the Bay of Bengal this week after accusing Burma of exploring for natural gas in a disputed stretch of sea claimed by Dhaka.

Burma insists the exploration will continue, saying the area is part of its exclusive economic zone.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said on Wednesday that his country will do everything necessary to protect its sovereignty. Chowdhury also says he told China's ambassador in Dhaka, Zheng Qingdian that Bangladesh has peaceful intentions and hopes Burma will stop work in disputed waters. China is one of the few countries that maintains relations with Burma's military rulers.

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