[JURIST] Leaders of Singapore and Indonesia on Wednesday signed a treaty [press release] establishing their territorial boundaries in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore. According to Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website], the agreement is a demonstration [Xinhua report] of how the two countries have been able to work together in areas of mutual interest and "further underscores the excellent working relationship and bilateral ties between both countries." This is the second maritime boundary agreement signed by Singapore and Indonesia during the term of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [official website]. Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam [official website] expressed his appreciation for the for Yudhoyono's support of the Singapore-Indonesia relationship, stating that the countries had launched a new phase of their economic partnership.
This treaty represents a time of cooperation in a year marked by maritime border disputes worldwide. Many of these disputes are sparked by competition for fishing grands and oil/gas exploration. In July the Permanent Court of Arbitration [official website] in The Hague issued [JURIST report] a ruling [court documents] awarding Bangladesh more than 9,700 square miles in the Bay of Bengal, ending a maritime dispute with India that has spanned more than three decades. In April Bolivian President Evo Morales [BBC profile] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] laying claim to a 240-mile area in Chile that provides access to the Pacific Ocean. In January the ICJ established a new maritime boundary [JURIST report] between Peru and Chile.