Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bahamas, Cuba in new round of maritime border talks

Bahamas, Cuba in new round of maritime border talks

Underlining the intensifying search for offshore oil on both sides,
Bahamas and Cuba resumed technical discussions about their maritime
border earlier this month, the Bahamas Weekly reported.

This the the third round of negotiations between the neighbors, as talks
have been progressing since 2005. A resolution is becoming more pressing
as Norway's Statoil is already performing exploratory drills adjacent to
the Bahamian side of the border, and as Russia's Zarubezhneft and
Petrovietnam have leased onshore and nearshore blocks in east-central Cuba.

The first round of preliminary discussions was held in Nassau in 2005,
followed by a technical meeting in Havana last year. The Bahamas
submitted their baseline, which is used to determine maritime borders,
to the United Nations in 2008.

The Bahamian delegation in this third round included representatives
from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney General's Office, the
Ministry of the Environment, the Department of Marine Resources, the
Royal Bahamas Defence Force, and the Bahamas National Geographic
Information Systems Centre.

The discussions are "a matter of priority," the Bahamian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs said."

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