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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Indonesia, Malaysia appoint special envoys to discuss territorial disputes

(12 February 2015)

A meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo last week has resulted in the decision to appoint special envoys from each country to explore settling outstanding territorial disputes. The decision marks a transition from using international arbitration to resolve territorial disputes, as in the 2002 International Court of Justice ruling for Malaysia over disputed islands, to attempting bilateral negotiations instead.

According to President Widodo, “We agreed to appoint special envoys, so issues on maritime borders can be settled, as they have remained unresolved for too long.” Contested territories include areas of the Celebes Sea, off the coast of Borneo, which have potential energy reserves.

The meeting between Malaysia and Indonesia also resulted in an agreement regarding illegal fishing in shared territorial waters, determining that both sides will pursue legal action against offending vessels and will not interfere with the other country’s activities. The illegal fishing agreement follows the sinking of a Malaysian ship by the Indonesia navy on 8 January 2015.

Sources:

Here's How Malaysia and Indonesia Plan to Resolve Their Territorial Disputes, 10 February 2015, by Ankit Panda for The Diplomat, http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/heres-how-malaysia-and-indonesia-plan-to-resolve-their-territorial-disputes/

KL, Jakarta to appoint envoys to settle contentious territorial disputes, 7 February 2015, Today Online, http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/kl-jakarta-appoint-envoys-settle-contentious-territorial-disputes