President John Mahama and his Ivorian counterpart, Allasanne Ouattara, have pledged to promote discussions that favour regional integration concerning the issue relating to the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire.
At a meeting between the two leaders, convened by former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at Geneva, in Switzerland yesterday, Presidents Mahama and Ouattara decided to engage in a process aimed at achieving cooperation, as prescribed by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
A joint communiqué issued by the Kofi Annan Foundation and copied to The Ghanaian Times said at the close of the meeting, the two Presidents reiterated their commitment to dialogue to the mutual benefit of their respective countries.
“Following the recent ruling by ITLOS on a request for provisional measures, the two Presidents, true to the mutual vision of regional integration have decided to engage in a process aimed at achieving cooperation as prescribed by the ITLOS,” the communiqué said, adding “The delimitation of the border remains the objective of the parties,” the communiqué added.
According to the communiqué, the two Presidents thanked Mr. Annan and his Foundation for facilitating the meeting and expressed their willingness to continue to draw on his vast experience in promoting cooperation between the two countries.
It is recalled that the International Tribunal on Maritime disputes, last month granted Ghana the permission to continue to carry out petroleum exploration activities off -shore the Cape Three Points.
It upheld that the suspension of ongoing activities conducted by Ghana in respect of which drilling had taken place, would entail the risk of considerable financial loss to the country and its concessionaries, and could also pose danger to maritime life.
The tribunal, however, urged Ghana not to grant new operating licences to oil companies to carry out petroleum exploration works in the disputed area.
On September 22, 2014, Ghana instituted proceedings against Cote d’Ivoire in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to the Special Chamber of ITLOS, with Ghana’s Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Marrieta Brew Appiah-Oppong, praying the tribunal not to grant the request by Cote d’Ivoire because it would have dire repercussions on the Ghanaian economy.
By Samuel Nuamah