Fax till Australiens
Tegnérlunden 12, 3 tr
113 59 STOCKHOLM
Tel. 08-33 62 47
Postgiro 1 81 92-5
Prime Minister John Howard|
c/o Embassy of Australia to the United States
1601 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington DC, 20036-2273
Dear Prime Minister Howard:
I am extremely troubled by your government's disregard for East Timor's sovereignty and rights when it comes to establishing a permanent maritime boundary with your country.
Your government's bullying and delaying tactics are unacceptable. International legal principles established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) call for setting the boundary at the median line (half way between the coastlines of two countries) in cases like this. Australia should respect international law, yet your government continues to exploit and profit handsomely from petroleum fields significantly closer to East Timor in contested waters.
We urge you to set a firm timetable with the government of East Timor to establish a boundary within no more than three years. Throughout these negotiations, East Timor must be treated fairly as the sovereign nation it is. We urge your government to rejoin international legal mechanisms to resolve maritime boundary disputes that cannot be settled by negotiation, specifically the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
The interests of both countries are best served through East Timor achieving complete political and economic independence. Your refusal to fairly and expeditiously settle maritime boundaries, along with the continued theft of East Timor's oil and gas resources worth billions, only delay this goal and risk squandering the good will generated by Australia's support of East Timor since 1999.
I look forward to your response.
Chairman, Swedish East Timor Committee
April 28, 2005