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September 02, 2014

Singapore and Indonesia have agreed on their maritime boundaries

Singapore and Indonesia have agreed on their maritime boundaries in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore and will sign a treaty during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's three-day state visit to Singapore, which starts today.

President DR Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  will also receive the Order of Temasek (First Class), Singapore's highest decoration for foreign leaders, in a ceremony tomorrow

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said in a statement: "It is being conferred on President Yudhoyono for his positive contributions to the relationship between Singapore and Indonesia during his 10 years in office."

He will be the second Indonesian leader to receive the honor, which was given to president Suharto in 1974 during his state visit that year for his contribution to the development of Singapore-Indonesia relations.

Under the new agreement, which is to be signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the two governments have settled the borders that delineate the eastern part of the Singapore Strait, an area incorporating Indonesia’s Batam Island and Singapore’s Changi.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that the signing of the agreement was expected to take place in Singapore on Tuesday during Yudhoyono’s meeting with his Singaporean counterparts, Prime Minister Lee and President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

“He [Yudhoyono] will arrive in Singapore  tomorrow  [Tuesday], and a private meeting with the Singaporean President and Prime Minister will take place. The meeting will include the signing of the agreement between Indonesia and Singapore relating to the first segment [of the eastern border],” Marty told the press at a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

The eastern sea border is divided into two segments: the first segment includes the area between Changi and Batam, while the second covers the zone between Bintan and South Ledge/Middle Rock/Pedra Branca, areas which are also a bone of contention between Singapore and Malaysia.

Marty said that Tuesday’s agreement would be the second after a deal in 2009.

“We signed an agreement covering the western part of the Singapore Strait in 2009, but the one covering the eastern parts has been delayed due to the territorial dispute between Malaysia and Singapore,” Marty said, adding that the Indonesian government expected to seal an agreement with the Malaysian government in the next few days.

The 2009 agreement covers the western part of the Singapore Strait, including Nipah and Tuas islands.

During his visit to Singapore, Yudhoyono is also expected to receive the award of the Order of Temasek First Class from the Singapore government, the second award he has received from Singapore. During a state visit to the city-state in 2013, Yudhoyono was granted an honorary degree from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).

House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees defense, information and foreign affairs, applauded the government’s success in completing the agreement with Singapore.

“The agreement [with Singapore] will definitely hasten the process with Malaysia, which is good because unlike Singapore, with whom Indonesia has few sea disputes, Indonesia and Malaysia have been involved in a number of debates on the matter, due to a number of issues including illegal fishing,” commission chairman Mahfudz Siddiq stated.

Mahfudz added that the agreement could boost ties with Singapore.

“The signing of the agreement will improve Indonesian-Singaporean bilateral ties in the future. I believe that the agreement will have no negative consequences for the next government in terms of bilateral cooperation with Singapore,” said Mahfudz, a member of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Mahfudz took issue only with the fact that the government rarely briefed the House on its progress in the negotiations with the Singaporean government.

Contacted separately, Commission I lawmaker Helmy Fauzy of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), one of the five political parties that officially nominated president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, praised the agreement, saying that it would further help the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla administration to implement programs on maritime management.

“We have been involved in a number of sea border disputes, particularly with Malaysia. The signing of the agreement will definitely speed up the process with Malaysia and then we can eventually settle those disputes,” Helmy said.

August 28, 2014

Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia

Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia Indonesia and Australia sign Code of Conduct Agreement to end spying row 

Another leap forward has been made in the last President Yudhoyono administration  
Dr Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behaviour and, after months of talks on the issue, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa on Thursday signed an Nusa Dua Bali

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the agreement will reinforce respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and provide a basis for enhanced intelligence cooperation.

A very Historic moment in the Australia -Indonesia Diplomatic Relationship 
With Dr Yudhoyono looking on, the pair inked the deal, named the "Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia", at a ceremony on  Bali.
With the signing of the code of conduct, we are back to where we have been in terms of Indonesia and Australia relations," Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said after the signing on the island of Bali. He said the deal would lead to enhanced intelligence operations and the restoration of full military cooperation between the countries.
The disagreement, which at its height saw Indonesia pull its ambassador from Canberra, hurt cooperation between the countries on the movement of asylum seekers through Indonesia to Australia and efforts to tackle Islamist militancy, a concern that has grown sharper in recent months amid the passage of Australian and Indonesian jihadists to Iraq and Syria.