25 September 2015

Maritime Boundary consultations begin with Indonesia

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ETLJB 25/9/2015 Government of East Timor MEDIA RELEASE Agio Pereira Dili, 23 September, 2015 - On Friday, September 18th, the process of delimiting the permanent maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Indonesia began, with consultations taking place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Díli. It was an historic occasion, marking the start of bilateral talks to address all maritime areas between the two States.

The consultations on Friday followed announcements made by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Rui Maria de Araújo, during the recent Official Visit to Indonesia.

Dialogue in Friday’s meeting reflected the statements made by the two leaders in August with delegates confirming that both States want to delimit a maritime boundary in a accordance with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS]. Timor-Leste and Indonesia are both signatories to UNCLOS, and recognize the positive obligation to move toward boundary delimitation.

With the positive and constructive relationship between Timor-Leste and Indonesia, the delegates said they expect to make good progress and declared their commitment to engaging in the negotiations in an open and constructive manner, and in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.

Timor-Leste and Indonesia plan to reach agreement on the terms of reference for the negotiations which will outline the steps in the delimitation process. After this agreement formal negotiations on maritime boundaries will commence.

Last year the National Parliament of Timor-Leste authorised the formation of a body to coordinate and manage Timor-Leste’s efforts to achieve a permanent maritime boundary with its neighbors. This body, the Council for the Final Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, was established by Decree-Law in April 2015 and is directly accountable to the Prime Minister.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “the prompt meeting of the delegations in Díli last week and the constructive nature of the consultations was a positive start in the process of the maritime boundary delimitation with Indonesia. The declared aim of the leaders of our two States to negotiate our boundaries in accordance with international law has now resulted in the first stages of implementation. ENDS

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