Published On: Tue, Nov 15th, 2016

VVD seeks clarity on Oyster Pond dispute

BosmanTHE HAGUE – The liberal democratic VVD party in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament is asking for answers from the Dutch Government about the border dispute between St. Maarten and St. Martin over Oyster Pond.

VVD Members of the Second Chamber André Bosman and Han ten Broeke on Sunday sent a number of written questions to Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, using The Daily Herald and Soualigapost.com as their sources.

Ten Broeke, VVD’s foreign affairs specialist, and Bosman who is the party’s representative in the Parliament’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations, asked the Ministers to provide clarity on the inspections that the French side authorities carried out at the construction site of the marina at Captain Oliver’s in Oyster Pond on October 26, 2016. Ten Broeke and Bosman referred to the area as “a part that belongs to the Dutch side of St. Maarten.”

The Members of Parliament asked: “Is it correct that the French authorities have no authority in this area? Is it correct that the border between the French and Dutch side at Oyster Pond has not been determined officially, or at least in a manner that has the approval of both parties? Can this be considered a territorial dispute?”

Ten Broeke and Bosman also asked the Ministers to inform the Second Chamber about the consequences of the incident. And, “To what extent does the dispute have an influence on the relations between the Dutch Kingdom and the French Republic?”

It has been reported that in the meantime the Dutch Government has addressed the French Government in relation to the suggestion of St. Martin Préfète Anne Laubies that Oyster Pond belonged to the French side.

However, no diplomatic solution and formal agreement on the official demarcation of the border has been reached as yet. According to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the talks regarding this issue were ongoing. The St. Maarten Government is involved in this process.

The French and Dutch sides have been squabbling over the exact location of the border at Oyster Pond for several decades. At the heart of the diplomatic discord is the fact that the border has not been officially demarcated, or at least approved by the parties involved: the two sides of the islands, the Netherlands and France.

The Daily Herald

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