The Republic of Ireland recently announced that it had a compromise to propose for the Rockall question. For the last five years, Britain, Denmark, Ireland and Iceland have been engaged in a dispute over the ownership rights to the rocky islet in the North Atlantic where many believe the ocean floor is hiding large deposits of oil and natural gas.
Representatives from the four countries met recently in Copenhagen where Ireland presented a proposal to partition the seabed around Rockall into four parts. Rockall is a tiny rocky outcrop in the middle of the ocean between Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.
According to Dermot Ahern, Ireland’s Foreign Minister, the plan “provides a reasonable template for delivering a final resolution.”
No deals have been signed and none of the countries has voiced their firm agreement or disagreement with the Irish plan, but Ahern is optimistic that the issue can be resolved at the group’s next meeting in mid-January in Dublin.
“We have come to outline agreements in relation to other parts of our seabed in the Atlantic. There is no reason ultimately why we also can’t do a deal on this protracted issue,” he said.