Singapore, Malaysia meet to settle island dispute

Xinhua News

Malaysia and Singapore are holding the Meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee (MSJTC) for further discussion in the implementation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judgment on Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday.

According to a statement by the MFA, both sides reiterated their commitment to honoring and abiding by the ICJ’s judgment and fully implementing its decision by continuing the discussions pursuant to the Second MSJTC Meeting held in Putrajaya, Malaysia in 2008.

Both sides were pleased with the progress made by the Joint Technical Committee and agreed that the next meeting would be held in one to two months in Malaysia.

In May 2008, the ICJ ruled that Pedra Branca is under Singapore’s sovereignty, and Middle Rocks remains part of Malaysian territory. The Court did not rule definitively on South Ledge, merely declaring that it belongs to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located.

Malaysia and Singapore have established the Joint Technical Committee to delimit the maritime boundary in the area around Pedra Branca and Middle Rocks, and to determine the ownership of South Ledge.

On Wednesday morning, a Singapore-registered tugboat capsized off Pedra Branca and 11 crew members were reported missing. Singapore has since conducted a search and rescue operation and recovered four bodies. Seven people are still missing.

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