Timor Gap Treaty
Officially known as the Treaty between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia on the zone of cooperation in an area between the Indonesian province of East Timor and Northern Australia, the Timor Gap Treaty is a treaty between the governments of Australia and Indonesia. The signatories to the treaty were then Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans and then Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas. The treaty was signed on December 11, 1989 and came into force on February 9, 1991.
It provided for the joint exploitation of petroleum resources in a part of the Timor Sea seabed which were claimed by both Australia and Indonesia.
The portion of the seabed was known as the Timor Gap as it formed a break or gap in the Australia-Indonesia maritime border which had been earlier agreed to because the Portuguese who were the colonial masters of East Timor did not participate in boundary negotiations. After the Indonesia invasion and annexation of the colony in 1975-1976, East Timor was made a province of Indonesia and both Australia and Indonesia began negotiations to solve issues arising over claims to the seabed in the area. Critics argued that the negotiations and ultimate signing of the treaty affirmed Australia's de jure recognition of the Indonesian invasion and annexation of East Timor.
The treaty was no longer in force when East Timor seceded from Indonesia in 1998. A new treaty to replace the Timor Gap Treaty was negotiated, resulting in the Timor Sea Treaty.
- "Treaty between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia on the Zone of Cooperation in an Area between the Indonesian Province of East Timor and Northern Australia". Australasian Legal Information Institute - Australian Treaty Series 1991. 1991. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Francis M. Auburn, David Ong and Vivian L. Forbes (1994) Dispute resolution and the Timor Gap Treaty Nedlands, W.A. : Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies, University of Western Australia. ISBN 1-86342-345-1 Occasional paper (Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies); no. 35.
- Dubois, B. (2000) [The Timor Gap Treaty : where to now? [ based on initial research by Monique Hanley and Kirsty Miller]. Fitzroy, Vic.: Community Aid Abroad, Oxfam in Australia. Briefing paper (Community Aid Abroad (Australia)) ; no. 25.
- Robert J. King, “Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea, the Timor Sea Treaty and the Timor Gap, 1972-2007”, submission to the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ Inquiry into the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea, March 2007. http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jsct/6_7_february2007/subs/sub6.pdf
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