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Ghana, Togo meet over maritime boundary dispute

The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has stated that the government will only accept an equitable outcome of the ongoing negotiations on the Ghana/Togo Maritime boundary dispute.

In the absence of an equitable result, he said the government would be compelled to seek international arbitration to bring finality to the current maritime border dispute.

Speaking to Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, on the sidelines of the fifth meeting of the Technical Committee on the Ghana/Togo maritime boundary negotiations, he explained that, any outcome from the negotiations should be grounded on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“The underlying principle is to derive an equitable outcome that is grounded on international law utilising all the established principles governing matters of this nature,” Mr Osafo-Maafo stated.

Although the two countries were miles apart in terms of arriving at an equitable outcome, he said, the commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Togolese counterpart, Faure Gnassingbé  Eyadéma, to promote good neighbourliness and peaceful coexistence between the two countries should be the framework and basis on which the entire negotiation process would be founded.

As part of the agreed processes toward an amicable resolution, he indicated that the survey teams of both parties have agreed on a common methodology for the conduct of the field work to establish the Land Boundary Terminus (LBT) or Border Pillar 1 as a prerequisite for drawing the maritime boundary.

Additionally, both survey teams presented a report of the 1929 Boundary Commission signed by the French and British Commissioners and the related map and agreed to use the report as their working document, the Senior Minister added.

He said Ghana views the processes as essential in ensuring that the interests of both countries were protected and optimised and urged the parties to agree to the provisional maritime border as required by the UNCLOS during negotiations.  

Principal Negotiator of Togo, Dammipi Noupokou, said, Togo desired immediate resolution to the dispute through amicable processes.

He said issues related to maritime border required that the affected countries dialogue and negotiate to promote and improve healthy relations for mutual benefits, adding that Togo was currently going through all the unavoidable constraints to end the dispute.

Assuring of Togo’s resolve to bring the dispute to a close, he stated, that the country was ready to negotiate fairly with Ghana to protect the interests of the two countries.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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