Dáil Éireann - Volume 562 - 05 March, 2003
Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.
Mr. Broughan Mr. Broughan
136. Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the measures he has taken, or is willing to take, to secure the return of its oil and mineral resources to East Timor from Australia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6412/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: On 20 May 2002, the day on which Timor-Leste became a sovereign nation, its Government signed the Timor Sea Treaty with Australia.
The Timor Sea Treaty provides that revenue from the area of the Timor Sea that is jointly administered by Timor-Leste and Australia, known as the Joint Petroleum Development Area – JPDA, will be shared, with 90% of the revenues going to Timor-Leste.
This is a positive development, which will provide an important source of revenue for the people of Timor-Leste, and a working foundation for economic progress in the newly independent state. In the Government's view such economic progress goes hand-in-hand with political progress and stability, as it should ensure that the dividends of peace and independence are shared by the ordinary people of Timor-Leste.
When I met with Mr. Ramos Horta, the Foreign Minister of Timor-Leste, at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2002, I assured him that Ireland will continue to play its part in the ongoing international support for Timor-Leste. Since November 2000, Ireland aid has given approximately €7 million in support for reconstruction and institutional development in Timor-Leste.
The establishment of our representative office in Dili, and the signature, on 31 January 2003, of the agreement to establish diplomatic relations, are further practical steps we have taken to show our continued support and commitment to Timor-Leste.
Dáil Éireann 562 Written Answers Foreign Conflicts.