According to a joint statement, Timor-Leste has told Australia that it will soon formally inform that it wants to terminate the 2006 treaty that’s in place, paving the way for the agreement to cease to be in effect three months after the formal notification.
The treaty governs the Greater Sunrise oil and gas reserve in the Timor Sea which is estimated to contain about $50 billion in oil and gas.
East Timor has been clamouring for years to renegotiate the treaty after Australia had been reported to have bugged the country’s leaders during the negotiations for the current treaty.
“The governments of Australia and Timor-Leste remain committed to their close relationship and continue to work together on shared economic, development and regional interests,” said the countries’ joint statement.
Last September, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague noted it was competent to handle the conciliation between the two countries with respect to the sea border dispute.
Timor-Leste had urged the Court to mediate saying bilateral talks were unsuccessful while Australia had argued the Court had no jurisdiction.
Australia initially refused to negotiate the permanent border until 2056 at the earliest, the year the current treaty’s moratorium on discussions on a permanent border expires.
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Australia and Timor-Leste would have to renegotiate a treaty on their sea border as the current treaty in place between the two government will be terminated.