Vanuatu, Solomon Islands Set To Define Maritime Boundary

Treaty likely to be finalized, signed in the next two months

By Thompson Marango

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 20, 2016) – The Government of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are looking forward to the finalization and signing of the treaty sealing common coordinates in the two countries’ maritime boundary within the next two months.

Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Minister, Milner Tozaka met with his Vanuatu counterpart, Bruno Leingkon Tuesday this week in Port Vila and the joint maritime boundary was also discussed.

The two countries share maritime boundary north of Vanuatu and south of Solomon Islands.

Minister Leingkon informed Daily Post that the two countries are looking forward to signing of a treaty to seal common coordinates possibly as early as June or July this year.

Negotiations between the two countries was actually completed in 2015 when a team from Vanuatu met with their Solomon Islands counterparts.

The two ministers’ discussion also touched on the issue of the North Fiji Basin, visiting the offer of the Commonwealth Secretariat to fund detailed submissions on behalf of Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands in the best interest of all parties.

Another important issue also discussed by the two ministers is the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting which the two countries further assured each other about their support for West Papua.

Leingkon told Daily Post the after the meeting Solomon Islands still stand with Vanuatu to push for ULMWP to become a full member.

In regards to the disputed appointment of the new MSG Secretary General, Leingkon said the two countries have reached an understanding that it is not about the candidate, but rather about the process of appointment.

He said the issue will be considered during the upcoming MSG meeting and dealt with in the proper Melanesian manner.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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