At the signing ceremony (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Australia and Timor-Leste on March 6 signed a maritime boundaries treaty at the UN Headquarters in New York in the presence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The signing of the maritime boundaries treaty marks the first conciliation between Australia and Timor-Leste in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

In a statement on March 7, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia welcomes the signing of the treaty which put an end to the prolonged dispute related to maritime border in Timor Sea.

She hailed the treaty as an important step that opens up a new chapter in the bilateral relations and allows the joint development and management of the Greater Sunrise gas fields.

The statement also quoted Timor Leste's Borders Minister Agio Pereira as saying that the treaty is a historical turning point for his country as well as the Timor Leste – Australia friendship.

Australia and Timor Leste started to discuss the settlement of territorial disputes in 2002 when the latter separated from Indonesia.

In 2006, the two sides signed some marine deals in the Timor Sea.

In October 2017, the Permanent Court of Arbitration said the two nations agreed on the draft treaty, ending a decade-old dispute related to oil and gas fields between the two nations.

The Greater Sunrise field is estimated to hold 144 billion cubic metres of gas and 226 million barrels of condensate gas, which are worth up to 40 billion USD.-VNA