Timor Leste plans to negotiate a larger share of the oil and gas wealth in the seabed between the impoverished Southeast Asian nation and Australia by restarting talks on a maritime boundary.
East Timor and Australia said in a joint statement on Monday that the tiny half-island country plans to give its wealthy neighbor three months’ notice that a bilateral treaty on sharing Timor Sea oil and gas will be terminated. That 2006 treaty also suspended negotiations on a maritime boundary for 50 years.
Deakin University expert on Southeast Asia Damien Kingsbury says that by reverting to a 2002 treaty, Timor Leste hopes to restart negotiations and persuade Australia to accept a boundary midway between the countries.
Australia maintains that the border should extend beyond it large continental shelf.