Chile to lay claim to piece of Antarctica

Oct 22, 2007 02:00 AM

Chile's foreign minister said that his country will ask the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to recognize Santiago's claim of sovereignty over a chunk of Antarctica. Alejandro Foxley told the move is in response to Britain's announced intention to assert rights over oil and gas resources in a portion of the Antarctic seabed that overlaps Chile's claim.
"No one can encumber Chile's rights in regard to Antarctic territory," the minister said, pointing out that the deadline for filing a motion with the UN Commission is May 2009.

He said Chile would argue that that Antarctic seabed "is a projection or prolongation of the continental shelf."
"We believe there is a space there in which Chile should reclaim its projection in accord with the applicable treaties," Foxley said.

Chile's rights, he said, "are guaranteed under the Antarctic Treaty. This additional presentation that's being done is for the possibility that in the future there would be some political accord amongthe countries to debate the additional issue of projection of the continental shelf into the sea."
Signed by Chile and six other nations, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty bans the extraction of hydrocarbons or minerals from the seabed around the South Pole.

Source / Efe
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