(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo held a bilateral meeting Saturday night, June 22, on the sidelines of the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit where they agreed on a landmark accord on maritime boundaries between the two countries
“This landmark accord concluded between the two biggest archipelagic states stands as a valuable example of the peaceful and rules-based settlement of maritime borders in accordance with 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” their statement read.
The two leaders are both in Bangkok, Thaland for the ASEAN Summit which is also expected to tackle the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea.
The landmark agreement between the Philippines and Indonesia included the completion of domestic requirements for the maritime boundary treaty.
It also provided a legal framework on the boundaries of the exclusive economic zone of both countries.
In their joint statement, both Duterte and Widodo “welcomed the completion of the two countries’ respective domestic requirements for the entry into force of the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Indonesia Concerning the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone Boundary.”
“The Agreement provides legal certainty on the EEZ boundary between the two countries, promotes deeper cooperation in their respective maritime sectors and thus contributes to the prosperity and economic development of both countries and the larger region,” it said.
The agreement would be implemented within the year “upon the formal exchange of the instruments of ratification by their respective Foreign Ministers.”
“This significant and positive development attests to the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Indonesia, and adds further meaning to the ongoing celebration of the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations,” their joint statement added.
Joining President Duterte in the meeting were Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, as well as their counterpart Indonesian officials.
The last time that Duterte and Widodo met for bilateral talks was in 2018 in Bali, Indonesia on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank annual meetings.
President Duterte is also set to hold bilateral talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha before returning to the Philippines on Sunday.