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Bahamas and TCI establishing maritime boundaries split ‘down the middle’

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FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell.

By LETRE SWEETING

Tribune Staff Reporter

lsweeting@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said The Bahamas has recommended that the maritime boundary between this country and the Turks and Caicos be split in the middle of the two nations.

He was discussing a pending agreement involving Turks and Caicos that officials met to discuss last week.

Establishing a maritime border between The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos is expected to enhance the successful cooperative security arrangements between The Bahamas and TCI, according to a 2022 maritime security agreement.

This is the third round of formal negotiations to determine a maritime boundary between the two countries. The previous one was held in 1996.

Mr Mitchell told reporters yesterday: “Except that we have to agree formally what the border is, now our position is clear, both with the United States and with the UK. I think Haiti also has a maritime border with us. Our position is in the middle, you draw a line down the middle, and you take that, and we take that. That's the way it is.

“The conclusion of these negotiations will be to the mutual benefit of our region as another milestone, further cementing our relationship with the Turks and Caicos Islands."

“There's another principle which operates called the continental shelf principle. And certainly, in the negotiations with the US, they've been advancing the continental shelf principle, which in fact, allows more on their side. But our starting position is down the middle, the median, and that's the position that we settled with Cuba, and that's the position that we'll be maintaining going along.”

Mr Mitchell said negotiations with the Turks and Caicos Islands have been slow because of difficulties with geographical mapping and getting the locational data needed to determine exact boundaries.

“There's a lot of geospatial data, which has to be supplied,” he said. “We have the equipment and the technical capacity to do so. But you know, as a small country, it's a little difficult wrapping up all of this to meet the requirements of these various meetings, and that's why it's taken such a long time to get it all sorted out. But we're hoping to move the project along.”

Comments

Baha10 8 months, 1 week ago

Hard to argue with “down the middle” as a guiding principle in neighborly relations measured based on each countries respective outlying Cays, assuming of course the Cays time selves are not the subject of disputes, but I think this only arose as regards Cay Sal Bank, which Cuba conceded was “ours” long ago thanks to the decisive action taken by a courageous British Police Chief when Castro sort to lay claim to this Group of Cays.

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