ACCRA, April 25–The maritime dispute between the government of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire would be resolved peacefully by the end of June, Adama Tourgara, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Cote d’Ivoire told news men in Accra on Thursday.

He said the two Heads of State – President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana and President Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’ivore are optimistic to reach a peaceful agreement by June ending.

Tourgara was briefing the media after the Joint Negotiation Teams’ eighth meeting in Accra, which deliberated on issues arising from the maritime border issues.

The two countries are claiming ownership of a territory in the maritime border, which experts say holds about two billion barrels of oil reserves, as well as 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Tourgara said there has been no tension between the two countries and was hopeful that the two countries would arrive at a method to delineate the maritime border issues.

“This issue would not bring about division between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire but rather draw a line which will enforce the unity between the two countries.

“The two countries will be able to finish technical discussions by the end of May and it is my hope that both sides would complete their reports and hand it over to their respective Heads of State before their scheduled meeting in June,” he said.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms Barbara Serwaa Asamoah said the two Heads of State with their delegations will meet to deliberate in a friendly and brotherly atmosphere.

She reaffirmed that there has not been any anxiety or misunderstanding in the course of the negotiations between the two countries.

The next meeting will be held in May.

Ghana was the first to strike oil in the disputed C100 area along the Tano Basin and believed it had exclusive rights over that maritime boundary until April last year when Cote d’Ivoire also announced that it had struck oil in a block off its shore adjacent to Ghana’s Jubilee Field.

A joint committee has visited the site to ascertain the geographic coordinates of the boundary post and subsequent meetings have been held in Ghana and Ivory Coast to study the options, after which the various options would be weighed to help resolve the matter amicably.


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