The Latest: Australia, E Timor sign pact on maritime border

March 7, 2018
This undated map provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows Australia's maritime arrangements with East Timor. Australia and East Timor will sign a treaty that draws the first-ver maritime border between the neighbors, resolving years of bitter wrangling with a deal that carves up billions of dollars of oil and gas riches that lie beneath the Timor Sea. Australia and its impoverished half-island neighbor will ink the agreement at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, March 5, 2018, putting to rest a dispute that has dominated and soured relations since 2002 when East Timor emerged as a fledgling sovereign nation independent of Indonesia.(Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via AP)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The latest on peace treaty between Australia and East Timor setting maritime border (all times local):

7:05 p.m.

Australia and East Timor have signed a historic treaty drawing their maritime boundary, ending years of bitter wrangling over billions of dollars of oil and gas riches that lie beneath the Timor Sea and opening a new chapter in relations.

The agreement was doubly historic because it also marked the successful conclusion of the first-ever negotiations to settle maritime differences under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Before a crowd of cameras, diplomats and officials, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and East Timor minister Hermenegildo Augusto Cabral Pereira signed two copies of the treaty Tuesday night. The chairman of the Conciliation Commission, Danish Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen, then signed as a witness.

Bishop said that under the treaty, revenue from exploiting the sea’s natural resources will be split either 80-20 or 70-30, with the lions share going to impoverished East Timor.

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