Pales­tini­ans be­gin sea bor­der talks with Egypt

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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