Panel to draw up maritime boundaries

Panel to draw up maritime boundaries
The Pedra Branca island, about 46km to the East of Changi on the Singapore mainland, and the eastern-most point of Singapore. The name means "white rock" in Portuguese, and it is also referred to as Batu Puteh by Malaysia.

Singapore and Malaysia will set up a sub-committee to draw up maritime boundaries around the disputed areas of Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

This follows an agreement in February between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that the next step towards settling the territorial dispute is to move into the "delimitation of maritime boundaries".

Informal consultations on the establishment of this new sub-committee were held over Thursday and Friday, said a joint statement issued on Saturday by Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam and his Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman.

The meeting was led by the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Mr Chee Wee Kiong, and Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary-General Othman Hashim.

It was also agreed between the two countries that the next meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee on the disputed areas would be held next year.

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