Australia and East Timor are ready to keep their bitterness aside and come together for a new sea deal. Both the nations will sign a new maritime border deal in September. The two nations confirmed the news on Tuesday.
The coming together of the two nations has resulted because of the East Timor withdrawing its claims against Australia spying over its activities on the sea. The two nations have been in dispute over maritime border issues for around 10 years. However, they attended the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Earlier, East Timor claimed that spying on the maritime border gives Australia an unfair chance to negotiate over the Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea Treaty. The arrangement creates a division through lucrative oil and gas fields, thereby affecting the future revenues of the nations. Timor Leste announced in January that the arrangement agreement has been scheduled to expire on April 10.
Australia & East Timor Release Joint Statement
Australia and East Timor have released a joint statement regarding the resolving of the dispute. The nations indicated “their commitment to work in good faith” on the maritime agreement on deciding over their boundaries. “The (conciliation) commission intends to do its utmost to help the Parties reach an agreement that is both equitable and achievable,” the statement read.
The nations have decided to come to a final conclusion on the maritime dispute. “The commission and the parties recognise the importance of providing stability and certainty for petroleum companies with current rights in the Timor Sea,” the joint release said.“The parties are committed to providing a stable framework for existing petroleum operations [and] the commission intends to do its utmost to help the parties reach an agreement that is both equitable and achievable.”
The dispute between Australia and East Timor has been a long-running one. Due to the conflict between the nations concerning the maritime boundaries, the owners of the Greater Sunrise fields had to put their project on halt. Some of those projects, as named by Reuters, include Woodside Petroleum, Japan’s Osaka Gas, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell.