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Timor Leste and Australia Sign Sea Border Agreement

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Timor Leste and Australia Sign Sea Border Agreement

After a 10-year dispute, Timor Leste and Australia signed a maritime border agreement at UN Headquarters in New York, USA last Wednesday (March 7). This is a permanent agreement between the two countries, after a non-permanent one  that Timor-Leste deems very damaging. In the deal signed by Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop and Timor Leste Deputy Prime Minister for Border Delimitation Affairs, Augusto Cabral, the two countries agreed to use the UNCLOS Convention on the Law of the Sea. Since separating  from Indonesia in 2002, East Timor has attempted to negotiate its maritime borders with Australia. Although assisted by Australia during the referendum, Timor Leste does not want to be dictated in maritime border affairs. For over 10 years since 2006, Timor Leste has fought and even brought this issue to the International Arbitration Tribunal for a fair decision. The injustice to Timor-Leste is due to the non-permanent border setting. The maritime borders of the two states were determined on the basis of the Australian continental shelf closer to Timor-Leste. With the implementation of UNCLOS, the maritime borders of the two states are the medians of their respective coastlines. The signing of this agreement became a victory for East Timorese diplomacy, and gave hope for the control of oil-and-gas rich sources in the Greater Sunrise region. Timor Leste will receive a larger share of revenue than Australia, depending on the concept of development. If oil and gas mining from Greater Sunrise is channeled to Timor Leste, its share is 70%. Conversely, if channeled to Australia for processing, East Timor gets 80%. Australia itself was willing to  sign this agreement, underlining that East Timor is also entitled to its economic potential. Indonesia through the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Armanatha Nasir welcomed the results of the bilateral talks and will study the details of the agreement once it is open. The efforts of the two states to conclude this treaty peacefully are worthy of respect, even though it had previously been strained by bringing the matter to the International Arbitration Tribunal. It is hoped that East Timor can develop its economy from natural resources. While  Australia, which is willing to release the part,  which was claimed based on the continental shelf of the country, also deserves appreciation. It is hoped that Indonesia and other countries with similar problems can solve their border disputes  peacefully as Timor Leste and Australia did.

Read 1374 times Last modified on Saturday, 10 March 2018 06:46