Australian activists of the Timor Sea Justice Campaign have welcomed a joint statement by the Timor and Australian Foreign Ministers and the Permanent Court of Arbitration this morning.
The statement that the Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) treaty would be officially terminated in April, puts to bed one of the most unjust chapters in Australian political history and opens up the opportunity for Australia to become a more respected neighbour in the region.
The termination also presents an opportunity to improve the prosperity of our near neighbour Timor Leste, which has been labelled one of the most unstable countries in the world by the World Bank. Securing a permanent maritime boundary with Timor that ensures access to their rightful amount of resources under international law, will allow the fledgling economy to flourish and improve the overall security of the region.
The relationship between Timor Leste and Australia has been strained since allegations of spying were brought forward in 2012. Rebuilding this relationship should be a high priority for Australia as they enter into negotiations for a permanent maritime boundary over the next nine months.
The Timor Sea Justice Campaign maintains that the best outcome for the region is to draw a permanent maritime boundary halfway between Australia and Timor in accordance with international law.
Quotes attributable to Campaign Coordinator Ella Fabry
“The fairest option remains a border drawn along the median line in accordance with international law.”
“With so much bad blood put to rest, Australia should treat these negotiations as an opportunity to support and rebuild friendship ties with Timor.”
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