Kingdom News

Are the French Claiming More than Oyster Pond Alone?

By René Zwart

The Hague – Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak (SP) wants to know from Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok. whether there are more locations along the border of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin over which the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of France are bickering.

Last week, the minister answered written questions asked by Van Raak about the border dispute that stands in the way of the rebuilding of a restaurant at Oyster Pond. Blok dismissed Van Raak, saying that negotiations about the Oyster Pound issue would start towards the end of this year.

Van Raak however is not satisfied with the answer provided by the Minister and launched the following questions, following up on the issue:

  1. How is it possible that this border conflict has existed since 1996, but that negotiations will only start at the end of this year?
  2. Is it true that the French invasions continued until 2017 and only stopped after Hurricane Irma completely destroyed this area? Why aren’t people in this area protected by anyone all the time?
  3. Why do you claim that this border conflict would only concern one restaurant? Is my information correct that the French are also entitled to other territories in Oyster Pond, but also to other parts of Sint Maarten, where very vital infrastructure is located?
  4. Is it true that in the past the government of Sint Maarten has granted licenses to the duped parties involved? Why does the government of Sint Maarten not now take the responsibility to financially compensate these parties for the damage suffered through no fault of theirs?
  5. What efforts is the Dutch government willing to make to provide the specific restaurant with ‘sufficient comfort’ to rebuild”?
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