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Indonesia proposes joint patrols in disputed Ambalat waters JAKARTA - Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono Wednesday proposed that Indonesia and Malaysia conduct joint maritime border patrols in the disputed waters of Ambalat in the Sulawesi Sea. He conveyed the suggestion to visiting Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal who had called on him at his office here.

Juwono said both countries could undertake the joint patrols for the duration of the talks on their territorial borders. "Both sides can be close to each other within the territorial limits without trespassing," he told a news conference following the meeting with Abdul Aziz. Juwono said Indonesia had a similar understanding with Australia along the common border of their respective territorial waters.

Both Indonesia and Malaysia have overlapping claims on the oil-rich Ambalat waters. "We concur that we should respect our respective sovereign rights while our foreign ministers engage in the technical talks to determine our common maritime border," said Juwono. Since 2005, the Indonesian and Malaysian governments, through their respective foreign ministries, have held 13 rounds of talks on the Ambalat issue.

The overlapping claims have become a hot issue again during the ongoing campaign for the Indonesian presidential election scheduled for July 8. Juwono said he had asked Abdul Aziz to reduce Malaysian naval patrols in the vicinity of the Indonesian territorial waters to dissipate any perception of trespassing in Indonesian waters. On June 4, Abdul Aziz denied media reports in Indonesia claiming that a Royal Malaysian Navy vessel had trespassed into the disputed territorial waters of Ambalat.



Posted in General @ 10 June 2009 02:31 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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