Malcolm Turnbull

New border talks with East Timor unlikely

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Source: AAP

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out reopening talks with East Timor on the maritime boundary dispute.

Australia has closed the door on reopening talks with East Timor about a maritime boundary dispute and a carve-up of oil and gas reserves.

East Timor Prime Minister Rui Maria Araujo wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seeking new negotiations.

Dr Araujo told Portuguese language news agency Lusa that Mr Turnbull replied that he was open to general talks on bilateral issues and trade but not on the border issue.

Mr Turnbull, in his response, said the existing resource-sharing arrangements met international obligations.

Labor has vowed to reopen good-faith negotiations with East Timor or submit to arbitration if it wins the next election.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said Australia could hardly lecture China and the US about following the international rules-based order when it flouted inconvenient rules when it suited.

"It will be a great disappointment to the government and people of East Timor," she told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

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