Bangladesh-India maritime boundary talks inconclusive

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Dhaka, Sep 17 (UNI) A three-day technical-level meeting between India and Bangladesh over delimitation of their maritime boundary centering the Bay of Bengal today ended in disagreements on the midstream flow of the common coastal river Hariabhanga.

''We've difference of opinion on the flow of the common river Haribhanga,'' MAK Mahmood, Bangladesh additional foreign secretary, told reporters after the hectic negotiations.

He said the Indian side claimed that midstream flows on the eastern side of the Haribhanga near South Talpatty (new mooring), while Bangladesh claimed that it flows on the western side of the river.

The Hariabhanga river is located at the estuary near the disputed Talpatty Island in the Bay of Bengal. Over the years the river has changed its course.

Mahmood said Bangladesh placed all data and documents in support of their arguments and positions. The Indian side did the same.

''It's like a brainstorming session,'' he said, adding that exclusive economic zone, continental shelf and territorial coastline all came up for discussion.

Asked if they made any progress, Mahmood in a diplomatic parlance said a meeting after a break of 28 years is itself a progress.

Later he said, ''We agreed to disagree, we sat to reach understanding.'' Indian team leader and chief hydrographer Rear Admiral BR Rao, while quickly leaving the meeting at the Foreign Ministry, said: ''We had a wonderful discussion. We discussed various options and methodologies.'' MORE UNI XC ARB KP1716

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