Ecuador completes maritime border demarcation with Colombia, Costa Rica

Saturday, 10 September, 2016 - 12:00

Ecuador announced the completion of maritime border demarcation in the Pacific Ocean with Colombia and Costa Rica at a ceremony held on the Galapagos Islands.

The presidents of the three countries signed a definitive and coordinated maritime border agreement, on which negotiations have been on and off since 1978.

In an event broadcast live on the presidential website, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa presented his counterparts with updated nautical maps.

"We celebrate the definitive demarcation of our maritime border with our neighbors Colombia and Costa Rica. It seems paradoxical that, after 200 years of existence as a republic, we can finally declare that our borders are definitively established," he said.

The document also outlined the countries' exclusive economic zones, over which they have sovereignty.

In the light of the agreement, Ecuador's maritime territory is now 5.3 times larger than its land surface, according to Correa.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said "it is very positive for countries to have secure and clear borders. We can work together to enjoy the borders instead of having them as a topic of debate. There are many more possibilities when we cooperate in harmony."

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said his country would expand the protected waters of the island of El Coco by another 10,000 square km.