World Bulletin/News Desk
EU members Germany and Netherlands signed Friday a historical agreement that formally ended the decades-long disagreement over the borderline at Ems River.
“Germany and the Netherlands show today how conflicts can be resolved with good neighborly relations,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the signature ceremony on a boat at Ems River.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders also praised the agreement, which formally defined the respective powers of the countries in the disputed coastal waters.
“The agreement provides a pragmatic solution to the problem we had,” Koenders said.
For decades, Germany and Netherlands could not agree on the precise location of the boundary between the two countries at the mouth of Ems River, which constitutes a natural borderline.
In 1960, the two countries reached to a tentative deal, only marking the area of three sea miles from the coast. The area between three sea miles and 12 sea miles, where international waters begin, had been left unmarked until a final agreement was reached over the problem.
The row over sovereign rights on Ems River deepened in 2010 when German energy company EWE moved forward with its plans to build the Riffgat wind farm on disputed territorial waters.
The two countries held various negotiations between 2011 and 2013, and finally reached an agreement in August 2013.
Following their signature ceremony, the German and Dutch foreign ministers took a symbolic tour of the Ems River.
“Here at the mouth of Ems River one can clearly see how cooperation instead of demarcation brings good results for both sides,” Steinmeier said.
“This agreement is a good result for the economy, for the wind farm, as well as for the maritime interests. It will bring more investments and stimulate growth in the region,” he said.
The two countries bridged differences on the controversial issues of exploitation and utilization rights on the territorial seas, and agreed to establish a joint German-Dutch shipping traffic control center in the area.
Last Mod: 25 Ekim 2014, 11:29