Malaysia, Indonesia to hold talks on border issues

21:31, September 06, 2010      

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Malaysia and Indonesia will hold talks on demarcation and border problems in October and November separately in order to prevent territorial disputes from arising.

Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman told reporters here on Monday in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia, that steps for resolving maritime border demarcation between the two nations would be fast tracked.

While technical teams from both countries will meet on Oct. 11- 12 in Malaysia, another meeting will be held on Nov. 23-24 in Indonesia, announced Anifah.

Anifah and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa met here for the first time after several quarters in Indonesia had protested against Malaysia following the arrest of three Indonesian officials who were alleged of encroaching into the Malaysian waters on Aug. 13.

Malaysia and Indonesia have overlapping claims on the waters, but both nations do not seem to have a sense of urgency in solving the matter.

The Aug. 13 incidence has sparked anger among Indonesians, resulting in several groups demonstrating against Malaysia.

Local media reported that certain organizations in Indonesia have even requested that Malaysians be "swept" out of the Indonesian territory.

Political analysts said that the rising tension between the two countries had resulted in the meeting of the two foreign affairs ministers on Monday.

Speaking at the joint press conference, Marty said discussions over maritime border issues should be intensified to avoid unwanted incidence.

He also said he and Anifah would meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in the third week of this September to hold further discussions.

On the protests in Indonesia, Marty said stern action would be taken to ensure there was no repeat of the demonstrations that took place outside the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia.

Protesters in Indonesian threw human faeces into the compound of the Malaysian Embassy during the recent protests, while burning and stomping onto Malaysian flags.

Meanwhile, both ministers agreed that their enforcement agencies officials should meet from time to time to strengthen their relations, and should any detention take place, the respective consular office should be informed.

Following Monday's meeting, fishermen in both countries are required to install Vessel Management System on their boats so that they can be alerted by the relevant enforcement agencies when they are encroaching into a foreign territory.

Source: Xinhua


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