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Indonesia-Philippine pact: Lessons for S. China Sea claimants

Published on Jun 11, 2014 11:57 AM
Philippine President Benigno Aquino (left) and visiting Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) reviewing honour guards at the presidential palace in Manila on May 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

The  signing of an agreement on maritime boundaries between Indonesia and the Philippines last month was a significant development for the two Asean member states.

News of the agreement came amid rising tensions in the South China Sea sparked by worsening disputes over competing maritime claims.

The successful conclusion of the talks holds important lessons for all claimant states in the South China Sea dispute.

In December 2003, I was instructed by the Indonesian government to jumpstart the maritime boundary negotiation with the Philippines that had been left dormant by both countries for almost a decade.

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