/** reg.easttimor: 2838.0 **/

** Topic: Indon ready to cancel Timor Gap Treaty with Australia **
** Written 4:43 AM Sep 7, 1999 by Joyo@aol.com in cdp:reg.easttimor **
Subject: Indon ready to cancel Timor Gap Treaty with Australia

Indonesia ready to cancel Timor Gap Treaty with Australia

JAKARTA, Sept 7 (AFP) - The Indonesian government is fully prepared to cancel the Timor Gap treaty signed with the Australian government over oil and gas extraction rights in the sea between Timor and Australia, a minister said Tuesday.

"Indonesia is ready to cancel the Timor Gap Treaty with Australia," Mines and Energy Minister Kuntoro Mangkusubroto told journalists.

He was refering to the treaty signed between Canberra and Jakarta in 1989 which governs the exploitation of oil and gas in the Timor Sea where Indonesia and Australia had overlapping territorial claims.

"That treaty was between the government of Indonesia and Australia, but because East Timor will in the future no longer be Indonesian territory, for legal reasons, that treaty can no longer be implemented," Kuntoro said.

He said that the area claimed by Indonesia under the treaty arrangement would come under the sovereignty of East Timor and therefore Indonesia will await the process of transfer of power before initiating any move.

The area in the Timor Sea covered by the treaty is believed to hold hydrocarbon reserves worth some eight billion dollars but only around 1.1 million dollars worth of oil and gas was exploited last year, industry sources said.

** End of text from cdp:reg.easttimor **