New Delhi, July 8 :
India Tuesday said that it respected the verdict of UN tribunal that has ruled that most of the disputed 25,602 sq km exclusive economic zone and territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal belong to Bangladesh.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the Arbitration Tribunal for Delimitation of Maritime Boundary between Bangladesh and India, established under Annex VII of the UN Convention of Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), has given its award July 7.
“We respect the verdict of the tribunal and are in the process of studying the award and its full implications,” he said.
“We believe that the settlement of the maritime boundary will further enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between India and Bangladesh by bringing to closure a long pending issue. This paves the way for the economic development of this part of the Bay of Bengal, which will be beneficial to both countries,” the spokesperson added.
Bangladesh has also welcomed the ruling.
According to reports from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali said in a press briefing that it was a “victory for both sides”.
“The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) verdict awarded us with 19,467 sq km out of 25,000 sq km disputed area with India in the Bay of Bengal,” he said at a press briefing.
Akbaruddin said the island, known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis, has fallen in India’s part of the Bay of Bengal.
Dhaka lodged the case against New Delhi with the PCA in October 2009 as both the countries failed to come to a solution in the past decades since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.
The PCA is a permanent judicial body established by the UN to facilitate arbitration and other forms of resolution of dispute between states.