AA / Paris / Ümit Dönmez
France and the Netherlands ended a nearly four-century border dispute on the West Indian island of St. Maarten this Friday.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, along with Foreign Minister Delegate Jean-Francois Carenkot, arrived in an overseas team, according to local press, to sign a border agreement with Georgian Prime Minister Silveria Yacobs. State of Sin Martin dependent on the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The island of St. Maarten, near Guadeloupe, with an area of 96 square kilometers, is divided into two units. It consists of a French overseas community in the north and an autonomous territory dependent on Amsterdam in the south, with a total population of 75,000.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the island was first occupied by the Spanish before the French and Dutch settled there. The two countries have never agreed on the exact course of the border between their territories.
The signing of this new treaty on Friday should put an end to several disagreements between Paris and Amsterdam that have remained since the Treaty of Concord, albeit imprecise, signed in 1648. Among these disputed points was the delimitation of Oyster Pond Bay, on the east side of the island.
After France requested arbitration at the United Nations (UN) in 2017, the two countries finally reached a draft compromise.
At a press conference on May 17, the local authorities of the two countries announced the signing of an agreement to conclude the agreement this Friday, May 26.
In a press release, the President of the Community of Saint-Martin, Louis Mussington, said that the signing of this agreement “will make it possible to define our border precisely and clearly” while “maintaining the free movement established by the Treaty of Concordia”. “, the territory’s elected official adds that this agreement will “pave the way for a long-awaited economic and urban recovery” by the island’s residents, who often suffer from tropical storms and cyclones such as Irma in 2017.