Semarang, C Java, June 9 (ANTARA): President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday asked Malaysia to continue talks with Indonesia to speed up the settlement of their dispute over the Ambalat block off the East Kalimantan coast.
“Because of the heightened tensions in the Ambalat waters some time ago, I have communicated with the Malaysian prime minister to settle the case properly without creating a new problem particularly one that may disrupt our bilateral relations,” the president said.
Yudhoyono said he last contacted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak by phone at around 12.00 on Tuesday.
In his phone talks with the Malaysian premier, the Indonesian leader expressed hope that negotiations on the Ambalat issue could run smoothly and effectively.
“Our basic position is clear that it (Ambalat) is part of our sovereignty. And it is our duties to defend it but the way we are pursuing to resolve it is negotiations,” he said.
The president further called on both sides to refrain from provocative actions that might trigger undesired things.
He said the Malaysian premier had given a positive response to his request and agreed to the steps he was taking to solve the case.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS said recently Indonesia had been in negotiations with Malaysia over the Ambalat area 23 times since 2005.
“The two countries will meet next month for their 24th negotiation. Indonesia wants the negotiations to cover all of our boundaries, including those in the Malacca Strait, Johor, South China Sea and Sulawesi Sea – including Ambalat,” Widodo said.
“We hope Malaysia will respect the negotiation process and not engage in provocative actions through its units in the field, which trespass and encroach on our territory,” he added.
International borders in the area have yet to be determined with each country claiming the area as its own.
Malaysia claims the area based on a 1979 maritime map while Indonesia bases its claim on provisions in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).
Source : Antara