Palestinians begin sea border talks with Egypt
GAZA—The Palestinians have begun talks with Egypt on setting out the maritime borders of their hoped for future state and the resources they can extract from the sea, their UN ambassador to the United Nations said Saturday.
The goal is to establish an exclusive economic zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, said ambassador Ryad Mansour.
The Palestinians became party to this and other UN treaties and agencies when they gained observer status at the United Nations in November 2012.
The talks with Egypt are at the preliminary stage, having begun recently with Egypt at the foreign minister level and then continued at the expert level, the ambassador said.
The Palestinian Authority has consulted “top lawyers in the field” to prepare its case and train its officials in the workings of maritime law, he added.
The Palestinian strategy is to reach agreements with two of its neighbors in the Mediterranean — first Egypt and then Cyprus — to define exclusive economic zones with respect to them, and then consult with lawyers as to what its potential borders with Israel could be.
Experts will then take an inventory of the natural resources claimed by the Palestinians and, and they will file their EEZ with the UN convention on the law of the sea.
It is a way to save time for future and treaties, means that we cannot run away from the responsibilities that these treaties and conventions require from us,” Mansour said. while a nation’s territorial waters only extend 12 miles out.
But in the Mediterranean they overlap and need to be negotiated.