Malaysia, Indonesia agree to solve border issue

JAKARTA, Aug 12 — Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to encourage their respective foreign ministry officials to find the best solution for maritime and land border issues between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the two governments also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) known as ‘MoU 20’, to encourage officials to explore possible solutions that benefit the two nations.

He said this in a joint statement with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi after attending the 15th Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) here, today.

Anifah said Malaysia and Indonesia had enjoyed good relations and had always collaborated in regional and multilateral forums.

“The existing relations between both countries have improved in recent years, and we are also working to strengthen the bilateral ties and to always hold discussions at all levels in order to improve our ideas and best practices,” he said.

The JCBC was attended by senior foreign ministry officials from both countries, as well as Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim.

The land and sea border issues between the two countries remain pending till date, and among the overlapping demand of both countries is over the Ambalat region, a water bloc between Sulawesi, Indonesia and Sabah, Malaysia.

Overlapping claims have risen since 2002 due to differences in the boundary maps used by both countries.

Meanwhile, Retno said apart from the border issue, other things discussed at the JCBC were cooperation in trade and investment, workforce, and efforts to enhance collaboration in the eradication of human trafficking.

He said Malaysia is Indonesia’s closest trading partner, and the trade value between both countries for 2016 was estimated at US$15 billion. — Bernama

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