After 20 years of negotiations, the Philippines and Indonesia have reached an agreement on a sea border dispute, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian neighbors concluded their talks over the weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia, with a draft accord and a chart setting the boundary of their overlapping exclusive economic zones in the Celebes Sea and Mindanao Sea, the report said, citing a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.
An exclusive economic zone is a 370-kilometer stretch of sea prescribed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a country has exclusive rights to fish and exploit undersea resources such gas and oil deposits.
Negotiators endorsed the accord for signing by the two countries’ top diplomats “at the soonest possible time”, the statement said.
“This is a significant contribution to, and an example of, reasonable efforts to build a stable and peaceful regional community … in accordance with international law,” said Foreign Undersecretary Evan Garcia, who headed the Philippine panel in the Jakarta talks.
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