Singapore-Malaysia panel to sort out court decision on territories

Other News Materials 2 September 2008 06:57 (UTC +04:00)

Singapore and Malaysia have set up a joint technical committee to sort out the issues surrounding sovereignty over the disputed territories of Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, a media report said Tuesday.

Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Rais Yatim and Singapore's Foreign Minister George Teo announced the panel and emphasized both countries' commitment to "honour and abide by the International Court of Justice(ICJ) judgement and fully implement its decision."

In May, the ICJ awarded Singapore a key victory with sovereignty over the island of Pedra Branca, bringing to a close a 29-year dispute with Malaysia. The island is strategically located at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Strait, used by 900 ships every day.

Malaysia was awarded a formation known as the Middle Rocks.

South Ledge is to belong to whomever owns the territorial waters it sits in, the court ruled.

The joint panel was to finalize preparations for a joint survey of the area and the territorial sea areas.

Fishermen were given the go ahead to fish in waters beyond 0.5 nautical miles off their respective territorial areas, and discussions on all areas were to continue over the coming weeks, reported dpa.