Malacañan Palace
23 May 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Indonesian President Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Malacañan Palace where they held a bilateral meeting and witnessed the signing of several agreements, including the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) between the two ASEAN nations.

The signed treaty, the Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia Concerning the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Boundary, is the first maritime treaty of the Philippines that spanned 20 years of negotiations between the two countries. This is to delimit the overlapping Executive Economic Zones (EEZs) between the Mindanao Sea and Celebes Sea, setting in maritime boundaries to define the sea space that fishermen and other stakeholders can exercise their sovereign rights over the waters.

“This is a milestone agreement that is founded on the principles of the international law particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It serves a solid proof to our steadfast commitment to uphold the rule of law and pursue the peaceful equitable settlement of maritime concerns,” President Aquino said.

Aside from this, two other agreements were signed which includes: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia on Higher Education Cooperation and MOU between the Anti-Terrorism Council of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Counter-Terrorism Agency of the Republic of Indonesia.

This is the first visit of the Indonesian President to the country since he was elected President in 2004 and re-elected in 2009.

Prior to the meeting with President Aquino, the Indonesian President offered a wreath at the Rizal Monument in Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

*  *  *