Caption: Fiji, and Tuvalu after the signing of the agreed minutes at the Fiji High Commission in London. Photo: SUPPLIED.
Two months after Fiji’s Prime Minister Hon Josaia Bainimarama signed a maritime boundary treaty with his Tuvaluan counterpart, Mr Enele Sopoaga on October 17, the two neighbouring Pacific Island countries met again in London with France on December 9 and agreed on a common tripoint shared between the three countries.
“Aside from agreeing on this common tripoint, Fiji and Tuvalu also finalised pending amendments to maritime boundary coordinates that have been outstanding since 1990,” Fiji’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Solo Mara said.
“Fiji and Tuvalu aims to formalise this arrangement by next week via an exchange of Diplomatic Notes to make these effective under international law,” High Commissioner Mara added.
“This will finalise all outstanding maritime boundary issues between the two countries.”
Mara expressed his gratitude to both France and Tuvalu for the considerable goodwill shown during the negotiations which “sets the pace for future negotiations in the region.”
He also thanked SPC-SOPAC for their invaluable technical assistance in these negotiations.
The Commonwealth Secretariat hosted the trilateral talks and offered to fund consultancy work for Fiji which will be crucial in expediting the progress in the technical areas of the negotiations. These include submissions to the UN which are prepared in accordance with the usually stringent and complex requirements of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea.
The Fijian delegation was led by H.E Mr Solo Mara and includes senior officials from Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Lands, Mineral Resources Department and the Fiji Navy.