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Bangladesh to send team to Myanmar to end sea row
DHAKA Nov 3 (Reuters) - Bangladesh said on Monday it would dispatch a diplomatic team to Myanmar to try to solve a border row, as ships from both sides faced off in disputed waters in the Bay of Bengal.
"The dispute should not lead to a confrontation between the two friendly neighbours and must be solved immediately through diplomacy," Foreign Adviser (minister) Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told reporters.
Bangladesh sent a naval patrol to the disputed area on Sunday after ships from Myanmar began oil and gas exploration.
Bangladesh and Myanmar have been holding talks for years to demarcate their border in the Bay of Bengal, considered rich in gas reserves.
A team headed by Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain will visit Yangon on Wednesday, Chowdhury said. Another scheduled meeting on sea boundary demarcation will be held in Dhaka on Nov. 16 and 17.
"Myanmar has stopped exploration activities, but its ships and team of explorers were still staying at the spot," a navy official told Reuters, without giving details.
Bangladesh last year said that some offshore blocks that Myanmar had been trying to explore in cooperation with India were in its waters.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement last month to speed up the resolution of all outstanding issues including a row over refugees in Bangladesh.
In a separate incident, Myanmar border forces killed four Bangladeshi loggers for trespassing on Friday and returned the bodies on Monday.
(Reporting by Nizam Ahmed and Masud Karim; Editing by David Fox)
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