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Indonesia, Vietnam Conclude EEZ Negotiations

December 23, 2022, 06.31 PM

BOGOR, - Indonesia and Vietnam have completed a decade-long negotiation on their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundaries.

"After having intensive negotiations for 12 years, Indonesia and Vietnam have finally been able to conclude negotiations on the boundary lines of the two countries' EEZ based on the 1982 UNCLOS," President Joko Widodo announced at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Thursday, Dec. 22.

He made the announcement during a joint press conference with Vietnamese President Nguyn Xuân Phúc. President Phúc is on a state visit to Indonesia from Dec. 21–23.

An EEZ is a zone stretching 200 nautical miles from the coastline of a country where the country has rights to natural resources. It is regulated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Based on Law No. 5/1983 on EEZs, as long as they are within Indonesia's EEZ, the freedom of international shipping and flights as well as the freedom of laying submarine cables and pipelines will be recognized in accordance with the applicable principles of international laws of the sea.

"As stated by President Jokowi, we have agreed to negotiate the EEZ based on international law and the 1982 UNCLOS," Phúc said.

Vietnam also fully supports the theme of Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023, namely ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth, he added.

"President, I agree that ASEAN must play a central and resilient role in ASEAN, also support ASEAN's stance regarding the South China Sea to ensure that the South China Sea becomes a sea of stable peace and encourages freedom of navigation in accordance with international law and UNCLOS 1982," he said.

According to Phúc, the meeting could be a momentum for Vietnam and Indonesia to work together for the benefit of the people of both countries.

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Negotiations on the EEZ boundary between Indonesia and Vietnam were initiated on May 21, 2010.

The 15th Technical Meeting on the Determination of the Indonesia-Vietnam EEZ Boundary was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Sept. 26–27 this year.

The Indonesia-Vietnam border is located in the South China Sea to the north of the Natuna Islands, Indonesia. The two countries signed an agreement establishing the maritime boundaries for each country's Continental Shelf Zone (ZLK) on June 26, 2003, in Hanoi, Vietnam, which came into force in 2007.

Indonesia has drawn the EEZ boundaries around Natuna on an official map, which is used as a reference for the management of the capture fisheries sector, including for handling illegal fishing.

It was outside this EEZ limit that KRI Tjiptadi 381 had collided with two Vietnam Fisheries Service ships in North Natuna Sea on April 27, 2019.

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