Singapore and Indonesia Hold Discussions on Maritime Boundaries

According to officials, Singapore and Indonesia have completed the seventh round of technical discussions on maritime boundaries in the Eastern Part of the Strait of Singapore. The respective delegations met in Singapore from July 2-3 where they continued discussions on the terms of reference and other issues relating to the territorial sea boundary in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore.

Both Heads of the delegations acknowledged that the progress reached at the discussions would contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Indonesia–Singapore border is a maritime boundary in the Straits of Singapore between Indonesia’s Riau Islands which lie to the south of the border, and the islands of Singapore which lie to the north. The Straits of Singapore is one of the region’s busiest waterways as it is the main channel for Singapore’s ports.

Only a portion of the maritime border between the two countries has been determined. The remaining parts, especially those lying to the east of the delimited boundary, may require the involvement of Malaysia as the country also possesses territorial waters in the area.

The Indonesia–Singapore border came into being as part of the imaginary line created by the 1824 treaty between Great Britain and the Netherlands which divided up the Malay archipelago into spheres of influence between the two colonial powers. The current border in the Straits of Singapore is based on this line whereby territories north of the line were placed under British influence (and ultimately colonization) while those south of the line were under Dutch influence. Singapore was already a British settlement at that time and was allowed to remain so.

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