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Singapore, Indonesia sign agreements addressing three longstanding issues

BINTAN (CNA) – Singapore and Indonesia have signed a “balanced” set of agreements that addresses the “longstanding” bilateral issues of Flight Information Region (FIR), defence cooperation and extradition of fugitives, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the fifth Singapore-Indonesia Leader’s Retreat, Lee said he noted these three issues are important to both sides.

“They have been on our bilateral agenda for several decades. We have worked together and discussed them many times before,” Lee said.

The two leaders had earlier witnessed the signing of the agreements at the Sanchaya resort in Bintan. Lee said that at the previous Leaders’ Retreat in October 2019, Widodo and he had decided that “it was time to decisively settle these longstanding bilateral issues”.

“We endorsed a framework which would address the needs and interests of both sides,” Lee said, adding that Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan and Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean were tasked to follow up with detailed negotiations.

“The conclusion of these agreements demonstrates the strength and maturity of Singapore-Indonesia relations,” Lee said.

“These agreements take into account both parties’ interests, represent a good balance of benefits, and are durable agreements for the long haul, designed to last for at least
a generation.”

The agreements also create a “solid foundation” for the countries to move bilateral relations forward with confidence, Lee added.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the fifth Singapore-Indonesia Leader’s Retreat. PHOTO: CNA