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Akufo-Addo, Ouattara Commit To ITLOS Ruling

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Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ivory Coast on the implementation of the recent judgment by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), over the two countries’ maritime border dispute.

This was done in a joint communique signed by Shirley Ayorkor Botchway and Marcelamon Tanoh, Foreign Affairs Ministers of Ghana and Ivory Coast respectively, on the Ivorian leader’s recent visit to Ghana. The two nations agreed to cooperate to ensure the Tribunal’s judgement is implemented.

Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday, President Akufo-Addo stated that the agreement will bind the two countries in even closer intimacy, and go beyond the conventional tools of co-operation.

He also expressed confidence that the agreement between both countries will yield results of a historic and enduring nature for their peoples.

Both Presidents acknowledged the spirit of brotherliness with which the maritime dispute between the two countries was handled from the beginning, and in this connection, the two leaders expressed their commitment to ensure the smooth implementation of the ruling by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the two countries,” the communique said.

The two leaders also expressed their commitment towards strengthening the relationship between the two nations across various sectors including the economy, cocoa production, defence and transport.

On Defence and Security, the two countries agreed to reinforce the relationship among the relevant agencies, to organize joint exercises and operations and to establish joint training programmes.

“In order to effectively fight terrorism, maritime piracy, cybercrime, human trafficking and narcotics, the illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons, and the spread of destabilizing acts from one territory to the other, the two Governments have decided to strengthen their cooperation in the field of information exchange and intelligence,” the agreement read.

In accordance with their commitment, the two Governments agreed to develop practical arrangements for the joint exploitation and management of trans-boundary oil and gas and other resources.

“They will also work to achieve stronger cooperation in the areas of oil research, hydrocarbon exploration, development and management, and sharing of information,” the agreement added further.

The Chamber had in a unanimous decision on Saturday, September 23, 2017, ruled that there had not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.

The Chamber rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable. It also noted that, Ghana has not violated Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration in the disputed basin. There were suggestions that the ruling would mar diplomatic ties between the West African neighbours, but this announcement appears to have dismissed those fears.

Source:  Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum/ thePublisher

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