Saturday, May 24, 2008

Singapore Pleased With ICJ Decision On Pulau Batu Puteh

By Zakaria Abdul Wahab

SINGAPORE, May 23 - Singapore is pleased with the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague Friday which awarded sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh, the key feature in its dispute with Malaysia, to the republic.

Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs however said the judgment was not totally in its favour as the ICJ had awarded Middle Rocks to Malaysia.

In a statement released in response to ICJ's decision, the ministry said the court also decided that South Ledge belonged to the country in whose territorial waters it was located.

"We had argued that these features are part of Pedra Branca (as Singapore calls Pulau Batu Puteh) but as the court had found otherwise, Singapore accepts the courts decision," the ministry said.

It said the judgment had brought to a closure a long standing territorial dispute between Malaysia and Singapore.

On media queries on the implications of the judgment on issues regarding Singapores entitlement to territorial sea or maritime zones around Pulau Batu Puteh, the ministry said the ICJ was not asked to determine such questions of maritime space or boundary delimitation.

It said Singapores rights and interests on these matters would be pursued in accordance with international law.

The ministry said Singapore had a territorial sea limit that extended up to a maximum of 12 nautical miles and an Exclusive Economic Zone which was consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of Dec 10, 1982 which Singapore was a State Party to.

The precise coordinates of Singapores territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone would be announced at an appropriate time, it said.

"Should the limits of its territorial sea or Exclusive Economic Zone overlap with claims of neighbouring countries, Singapore will negotiate with those countries with a view to arriving at agreed delimitations in accordance with international law," the ministry said.

"Singapore reserves its position on international agreements it is not a party to," it added - Bernama

No comments: