The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Ecuador and Costa Rica have agreed on their borders in the Pacific Ocean, after technical studies were delayed 35 years, they finally managed to define the maritime boundary between adjacent areas near the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Costa Rica’s Isla Del Coco.

Ecuadorian Minister Ricardo Patiño and his Costa Rican counterpart, Enrique Castillo, signed the Agreement on Maritime Delimitation in the Pacific during a special ceremony at the Palace of Najas in Quito, seat of the Chancellery of Ecuador.

“With this act a cycle closes and a new era opens” in bilateral relations, said Castillo, who remarked that the groundwork for “a new era of higher maritime cooperation of mutual interest” has been established.

For his part, Patiño said that with this instrument “a historic event in the close and fraternal relations between Ecuador and Costa Rica was marked.”

He also mentioned that after the agreement with Costa Rica, Ecuador “has finally completed its neighbors demarcation of their land and sea borders,” referring that his country has reached other agreements with Peru and Colombia.

“These borders, far from separating lines, will become junction points, convergence and integration of fraternal peoples” Patino claimed.

The process of maritime delimitation with Costa Rica “is a valuable example of understanding between our countries and certainly the beginning of a deeper cooperation stage,” Ecuadorian Minister reiterated.

Talks between Quito and San Jose began in 1978, when an agreement that would allow the delimitation of adjacent spaces between the Galapagos and Cocos islands has been proposed.

In March 1985, according to a report distributed today by the Ecuadorian Ministry, an agreement of Delimitation of Marine and Submarine Areas was signed in Quito, but could not conclude as the Costa Rican legislature noted that some terms were not consistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS ).

In February 2012, when Ecuador was in the final process of accession to UNCLOS, delegations of the two countries met in San José for to approach issues of maritime delimitation and continental shelf.

At that event an initial compromise was reached to promote a new draft agreement based on 1985, but it was consistent with the terms of UNCLOS.

In March 2013, the ministries of the two countries agreed on a Binational Technical Commission about the Galapagos and Cocos Island to displace a field of maritime delimitation.

Last March two other meetings were hold to agree on the location of the base point in Darwin Island (Galapagos) and the geodetic model for defining the maritime boundary between Costa Rica and Ecuador was established.

In a third meeting, which was held between 7 and 11 April in Salinas (Ecuador), negotiations and technical works, that allowed to define the agreement signed today were ended.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica