Manila (ANTARA News) - The governments of Indonesia and the Philippine signed an agreement on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) bordering the two countries here on Friday.

The agreement was inked by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Philippine counterpart, Albert F. Del Rosario at the Malacanang Palace and was witnessed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III.

President Yudhoyono viewed the event as a milestone in the relations between the two countries after they failed to strike an agreement about it for the past two decades.

The two countries share EEZs in the Sulawesi Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

At a joint press conference, President Yudhoyono said he hoped the conclusion of the negotiations that were ongoing for the past 20 years to determine the delimitation of maritime borders linked to EEZs will yield real benefits to Indonesia and the Philippines.

"With the confirmation of the delimitation of the maritime borders we can now cooperate more closely, for instance in the fields of fisheries and marine areas, including fighting transnational crimes and ecotourism, that can benefit both Indonesia and the Philippines," the president emphasized.

President Yudhoyono remarked that the success of the negotiations can also be a good example to show that border disputes, including maritime border, can be settled peacefully and without the use of military power that can disrupt security in our region or in other places in the world.

President Aquino shared his viewpoint saying that the signing of the agreement can deepen the two countries relations.

On the occasion, the two heads of state also witnessed the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MoUs).

The first memorandum was signed between the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Education and the Philippine Higher Education Commission regarding cooperation in higher learning education.

The second MOU was signed between Indonesias National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) and the Philippines Anti-Terrorism Council regarding fight against terrorism.

Reporting by Muhammad Arief Iskandar

Editor: Ella Syafputri
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