Timor Sea dispute unresolved: Ramos Horta

TIMOR Leste's foreign minister has denied reports that his country had reached agreement with Australia on the division of Timor Sea petroleum reserves.

On Saturday Jose Ramos Horta told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that reports his government had agreed to put aside for 50 years its demands for redrawing the seabed boundary between the two countries in exchange for a greater share of revenue from undersea resources were wrong.

"This is pure, absolutely pure erroneous speculation by the media - so far no figures have been discussed and to put it in such a way that we agreed to shelve sovereignty for a particular price tag, that is absolutely erroneous," he said, speaking on the third anniversary of Timor Leste's independence from Indonesia.

Previously Australian sources, including foreign minister Alexander Downer and chief negotiator Doug Chester, had told the media that an agreement based on such terms was close to being finalised.

But the Greater Sunrise project now on hold indefinitely, Timor Leste may be reconsidering the urgency of sealing the deal.


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