Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Vice Foreign Minister Triyono Wibowo said Indonesia`s territorial borders with Malaysia and the Philippines had not yet been completely settled.

"The territorial borders that have been settled are those with Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and India," he said at a seminar at Narotama University here on Saturday.

He said Indonesia still had yet to discuss the exclusive economic zones with Malaysia and the Phlippines.

"The discussion of the exclusive economic zone border with East Timor meanwhile has not even been started and has to be negotiated again because East Timor has separated itself from Indonesia," he said.

In the past Indonesian founders thought that East Timor, Malaysia and North Kalimantan should be part of the Indonesian territory due to the people`s racial similarity with the Indonesian people.

"But what has been later approved were regions of the former Dutch colonial administration that have declared independence and become united with provisions that the Indonesian territory is around 100,000 kilometer while the sea territory is measured three miles from the coast," he said.

To realized the archipelagic concept Indonesia has held a conference on the sea law and asked countries concerned to immediately ratify it.

"The fact is Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines would not accept the idea of the first sea law conference in 1958. Later in 1960 the second conference which was stricter was held, followed by the third which was more legitimate," he said.

In 1983 he said the mission was achieved with a total of 60 countries already ratifying it.

"Articles in the UNCLOS require us to respect the international interest by allowing their commercial ships to pass through our waters while those countries have to ask for permit and report to the countries where their ships would pass through," he said.

Right now Indonesia is just formulating a program to manage its border and would seek agreement on its borders so that it would not lose its outer most regions.

"For now the program of the National Agency for Border Management) is already underway and the borders that have been agreed are the ones with Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and India while the others still have yet to be settled," he said.(*)

Editor: Ruslan Burhani
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