Bahamas and United States Begin Negotiations on Maritime Boundaries

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Above: Bahamian Foreign Minister Brent Symonette and US Charge d’Affaires John Dinkelman (BIS Photo/Kris Ingraham)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The governments of the Bahamas and the United States are in the process of negotiations to define the maritime border between the two countries.

The talks began Thursday during a meeting between Foreign Minister Brent Symonette and John Dinklelman, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Nassau.

“Achieving a negotiated and mutually beneficial agreement with our neighbor, the USA, is a priority for the government of the Bahamas,” said Symonette, who is also the country’s Deputy Prime Minister.

Symonette said the talks would focus on “core legal principles and rules,” framed within the context of good faith and mutual respect.

“A future maritime border between our two countries can only facilitate further the cooperation between the Bahamas and the United States on maritime issues, subsequently contributing to the maintenance of peace, security and economic advancement,” he said.

Dinkelman said the negotiating teams of both countries brought “extraordinary experience, technical expertise and intellectual skills to the negotiations.”

The Bahamas recently completed an agreement on maritime borders with neighbour Cuba, and has initiated talks with the United Kingdom on its borders with the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Those talks have been suspended until the settlement of ongoing internal issues in that territory.