Fri, 03 Jan 2003

'Australia must join border talks'

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The Indonesian working group for the Timor Gap and Ashmore Reef expressed its disapproval of suggestions by some Indonesian experts to exclude Australia from maritime border talks over the Timor Gap.

Working group chairman Ferdi Tanoni said on Thursday the inclusion of Australia in the talks was important as Australia had a profit-sharing agreement with East Timor in the Timor Gap.

"No matter what the reason, Australia should be involved in the talks on maritime borders in the Timor Gap because the area is located within the triangle of Indonesia, Australia and East Timor," Tanoni said.

Based on a 1999 profit-sharing agreement on oil extracted from the Timor Sea, Australia will receive 10 percent of royalties and East Timor, which separated from Indonesia in 1999 and became an independent state in May 2002, will receive the remaining 90 percent. --Antara