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Bangladesh and Burma Discuss Road Links to China


Bangladesh says Burma and China are interested in building a road network that would link Bangladesh to the Chinese border.

A Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry official said Sunday the road would link Bangladesh and Burma and travel north to China.

The official said Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni discussed the proposal when she met with her counterpart in Burma.

Moni and Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win held talks Saturday in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw.

The Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said the diplomats also discussed linking the two countries with fiber optic cables and examined other areas of cooperation.

The German news agency, DPA, said the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister also requested Burma's helping in repatriating thousands of Burmese Muslim refugees.

More than 20,000 ethnic minority Rohingya people live in refugee camps in Bangladesh. But an estimated 230,000 Rohingya are believed to be living illegally in Bangladesh after fleeing persecution and economic hardship in Burma.

Burma's military government refuses to recognize the Rohingya as a Burmese citizens and claims they are descendants of Muslims who illegally immigrated to Burma from neighboring Bangladesh.

The issue sparked tensions between the two countries earlier this year after Burma began construction of a border fence along a 40-kilometer stretch of their shared 320-kilometer border.

Last year, a dispute over oil and gas exploration rights along the maritime border in the Bay of Bengal prompted Bangladesh to send warships to the area.

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