Indonesia's Foreign Minister in Singapore as sea border treaty between their nations come into force

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi arrived in Singapore on Feb 9, 2017.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi arrived in Singapore on Feb 9, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi is in Singapore for a two-day visit, during which a landmark sea border treaty between their countries come into force.

Ms Retno, who arrived on Thursday, will meet her counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan to exchange ratification instruments for the treaty on Friday, said Singapore's Foreign Ministry.

This will formalise the pact, which was signed in 2014 to provide clarity on Indonesia and Singapore's sovereignty over bustling Strait of Singapore. It demarcates a 9.5km-long sea border in the waters between Changi and Batam island.

The treaty was ratified by the Indonesian Parliament last December, and is the third of its kind between the two countries.

They first agreed on the maritime boundary along the central part of the Singapore Strait in 1973, and in 2009 signed another pact on the western section, between Indonesia's Pulau Nipa and Singapore's Sultan Shoal.

With the latest treaty in place, the three account for a continuous 67.3km-long sea border in the Singapore Strait.

The two foreign ministers will also hold a press conference, during which they are set to announce the start of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of l ties between the two countries.

Ms Retno will have a four-eyes meeting with Dr Balakrishnan, who will also host her to lunch on Friday. They are likely to follow up on issues raised when Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the Leaders' Retreat in Semarang, Central Java, last year.

These include tourism and energy cooperation, as well as the setting up of the Indonesia-Singapore Business Council, among others.

On Friday, Ms Retno will also pay a courtesy call on PM Lee at the Istana, and speak about her country's foreign policy under President Joko at the Distinguished Public Lecture organised by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

asyiqins@sph.com.sg