The President of Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), His Excellency Alassane Dramane Ouattara will on Monday 16th October, 2017 pay a two day working visit to the country.
This is the first time the two presidents are meeting after the landmark International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruling on the maritime dispute between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, a couple of weeks ago.
Presidents Akufo-Addo and Alassane Dramane Ouattara will hold bilateral talks on how to foster a healthy relationship between the two countries.
Speaking on Okay fm's "Adeakyi Abea" morning show, Minister of Information Hon. Mustapha Hamid, who confirmed this, further noted that discussions on the recent ITLOS ruling will be a key feature.
"It is very crucial because, technically, Ghana will seek audience with the Ivorian authorities before we can even drill or do exploration on some of Ghana's new wells," he added.
In 2014, Ghana took the case to ITLOS to dispel claims it had encroached on Cote d’Ivoire’s marine borders as part of oil exploration activities at Cape Three Points; off the shores of the Western Region.
Ghana’s defense held that Cote d’Ivoire was barred from demanding ownership of the disputed area since it had already acknowledged that Ghana owned the space without any qualms in the decades leading up to the oil discovery.
The oral hearings for the dispute were concluded in February 2017.
ITLOS’s first ruling in 2015 placed a moratorium on new projects, with old projects continuing after Cote d’Ivoire filed for preliminary measures and urged the tribunal to suspend all activities on the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case.
The moratorium prevented Tullow Oil from drilling additional 13 wells. Tullow thus drilled eleven  wells in Ghana’s first oil field.
However, on Saturday, September 23, 2017, the ITLOS ruled in favour of Ghana.
In a unanimous decision, the Chamber ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
In reading the judgment, Justice Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber accepted Ghana’s argument of adopting the equidistance method of delineation of the maritime boundary albeit with some modification.
In consideration of the new boundary, the Chamber determined that the new one starts from boundary 55 -200 nautical miles away, a position much closer to what Ghana was arguing for.
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