Indonesia, Malaysia agree to bring border dispute on table

14:58, June 23, 2010      

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The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to bring the dispute over the 15,000-square- kilometer territory in border to the table, a paper said in Jarkata Wednesday.

The two governments had agreed to reactivate a joint commission consisting of work groups, through which the dispute at Ambalat territory, located off the coast of East Kalimantan of Indonesia, had previously been deliberated, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

"By reactivating the joint commission, all working groups will automatically resume," he said.

The spokesman said there would be meetings held by each working group until November, involving related ministries and state institutions.

Deliberations of the Ambalat issue, he said, would involve the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the National Survey and Mapping Coordination Agency (Bakosurtanal), among others.

Indonesian Defense Ministry spokesman I Wayan Midhio said that until an agreement was reached, the ministry would stick to borders "that we have set and acquired approval from the United Nations", despite different claims by neighboring countries.

A security expert with the Defense and Maritime Study Forum, Alman Helvas Ali, said the Indonesian government should be aware that a political agreement might not be always live up to what they hoped.

"Let's continue negotiations. But (the Indonesian government) must be stern and firm (against Malaysia) on the issue," he said.

Alman also said the Indonesian government should guarantee the livelihood of its clients operating there, such as Italy-based oil and gas company Eni, by immediately building a Navy base in Sulawesi as a safeguard.

He said the Malaysian government was developing power in its eastern part and had built a Navy submarine base in Sepanggar Bay on Borneo Island.

Source: Xinhua


(Editor:张茜)

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