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The Hague
Australia and East Timor have drawn up a draft treaty setting out their maritime borders, aiming to end a bitter dispute over lucrative oil and gas fields, officials said Sunday.
"Timor Leste and Australia have reached agreement on the complete text of a draft treaty" in confidential talks in The Hague over the past week, the Permanent Court of Arbitration said in a statement.
It"delimits the maritime boundary between them in the Timor Sea and addresses the legal status of the Greater Sunrise gas field," the tribunal added.
Without giving any details, the court hailed the draft treaty hammered out after a deal was reached in August as a"pathway to the development of the resource, and the sharing of the resulting revenue."
The two countries have been at loggerheads for a decade over the previous Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) agreement between them, which carved up future revenue from oil and gas reserves in the area.
Impoverished East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste and which gained independence from Indonesian occupation in 2002, relies heavily on oil and gas exports.
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