End of 20 year Philippine and Indonesian dispute

Philippine President Benigno Aquino (R) listens to visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2nd R) explain a map showing the boundaries of the new agreement based on the memorandum of the maritime boundary delimitation during the signing ceremony at the presidential palace in Manila May 23, 2014. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

MANILA:The Philippines and Indonesia have signed an agreement resolving a sea border dispute after 20 years of negotiations, with the neighbors' leaders vowing to forge closer ties.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday witnessed the signing of the deal delimiting the countries' Exclusive Economic Zone boundary in the Mindanao Sea and Celebes Sea. Also signed were agreements on cooperation on anti-terrorism and higher education.

Aquino says the border deal serves as proof "to our steadfast commitment to uphold the rule of law and pursue the peaceful and equitable settlement of maritime concerns."

The Philippines is locked in a territorial spat with China in the South China Sea and has filed an arbitration case before an international tribunal.





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