Dhaka – Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to resolve a maritime boundary dispute that brought their forces face to face in the Bay of Bengal in 2008 after Myanmar began oil and gas exploration, a Bangladeshi official said on Saturday.“The important agreement was reached between the neighbouring countries at a recent meeting,” Foreign Secretary Mohammad Mijarul Quayes told reporters.

He said officials from the two countries would meet soon to demarcate the border in a way that would establish Bangladesh’s rights on its off-shore gas blocks.

Bangladesh sent a naval patrol to the disputed area in October 2008 after Myanmar began oil and gas exploration. Both countries also concentrated troops at strategic points along their 320-km (200-mile) border, partly demarcated by the river Naf. Myanmar withdrew its exploration teams and agreed to resolve the issue through talks.

Bangladesh had referred the issue to the United Nations for arbitration under the convention on the law of the sea. (Reporting by Nizam Ahmed; Editing by Janet Lawrence)