Prime Minister Alkatiri voices concerns over ALP support for
the International Unitisation Agreement bill, 26 March
Prime Minister Alkatiri is concerned by comments made in the
Australian Senate on Wednesday 24 March claiming he has no concerns
about ALP support for the International Unitisation Agreement
(IUA) bill which is currently before the Australian Parliament.
Prime Minister Alkatiri said today "I clearly voiced my
concerns regarding the IUA bill, and consider that the Australian
actions and statements in regard to the IUA undermine the prospects
for its approval by the Timor-Leste National Parliament. These
actions are the unilateral issuance of licenses, by Australia,
in an area of the Greater Sunrise field described as a disputed
area in the text of the IUA. There are Australian statements that
claim that this area is an area of 'sole Australian jurisdiction'.
This is categorically incorrect".
The Timor-Leste Government is committed to adhering to its obligations
in regard to agreements entered into however the process of the
ratification of the IUA by Timor-Leste National Parliament would
be made easier if Australia was acting in accordance with international
Prime Minister Alkatiri further said "There is widespread
lack of support for the IUA in Timor-Leste. The facts that Australia
is issuing licenses in disputed areas; has not committed to a
timeframe to determine our maritime boundaries; claims to have
insufficient resources to enter into more than bi-annual meetings
to negotiate our boundaries; has withdrawn from the International
Court of Justice on maritime boundaries and continues to exploit
the Laminaria, Corallina and Buffalo oil fields which lie in an
area of sea claimed by Timor-Leste and which are nearing the end
of their lives despite our official objections, does not help
Timor-Leste's trust in Australia to abide by any legally binding
agreement entered into".
"If permanent maritime boundaries were agreed expeditiously
and in accordance with International Law, many of these issues