SINGAPORE: After 10 rounds of discussions over three years, Singapore and Indonesia have agreed on a third maritime border treaty.
The two countries’ foreign ministers on Friday (Feb 10) exchanged the Instruments of Ratification for the treaty which will soon be registered with the United Nations.
"This is also one of the fastest negotiations and ratification process that Indonesia has with other countries," said Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during her visit to Singapore.
The treaty delimits a 9.5-kilometre stretch of sea boundary in the eastern part of the Singapore Straits between Changi in Singapore and Indonesia's Batam Island. With the third treaty exchanged, the neighbours have now defined approximately 90 per cent of their sea boundary which stretches for a continuous 67.3 kilometres.
"This underscores the excellent relationship between the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of Singapore,” said Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan. “It shows that we have a functional good relationship and more importantly, it shows there's strategic trust. Without that, everything becomes more complicated."
SINGAPORE-INDONESIA GOLDEN JUBILEE
The conclusion of the third border treaty also kickstarted the Golden Jubilee celebrations of diplomatic ties between Singapore and Indonesia. Both foreign ministers said they welcomed the year-long series of activities and events that will be held in both countries.
Dr Balakrishnan said there is every reason to celebrate after 50 years of building relations. "We've gone through difficult times as well, but now 50 years later, we are able to stand here and tell you that we have a very strong, deep and broad relationship. And there's a deep reservoir of strategic trust that have been build up over time."
A series of events has been planned throughout the year, reflecting the cultural and historical links of the two countries. Besides government agencies, the business and people sectors will also be involved.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit Singapore this year as part of the celebrations and will meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for their annual leaders' retreat.
Mr Lee told Ms Retno, who paid a courtesy call on him on Friday, that he was looking forward to hosting Mr Widodo. Both parties also reaffirmed the importance of closer bilateral cooperation.
(Photo: MFA Singapore)