DAR ES SALAAM--Tanzania has called for an amicable resolution to a dispute with Malawi over oil and gas exploration in Lake Malawi, French News Agency (AFP) reported Wednesday.
"This is a very sensitive issue and we would like it to be resolved amicably. We will continue with talks," Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe told AFP.
Membe last week told domestic media that "exploration activities in the northeast part of the lake should be shelved to pave way for the ongoing discussions to resolve the crisis."
Malawi, a former British colony, for its part Tuesday vowed to press on with exploration for hydrocarbons.
Tanzania, ruled first by Germany then by Britain, claims a portion of the 29,600 square kilometre (11,400 square mile) lake, while Malawi cites a 1890 agreement that stipulates the border between the two countries lies along the Tanzanian shore of the lake.
Mozambique also claims part of the lake, Africa's third largest.
In September last year, the government of Malawi's late president Bingu wa Mutharika awarded a British firm, Surestream Petroleum, a licence to prospect for oil and gas on the giant lake.
The company has been conducting an environmental impact assessment.
The two nations will hold talks on the disputed border Mzuzu on August 20.
The Maravi Post put the Malawi-Tanzania “cold war over lake Malawi” in historical context. Click here.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.