No Claim from China over Natuna Islands
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi asserted no country ever claimed Natuna Islands.
In fact, she added, China has declared Natuna Islands belongs to Indonesia.
A while ago, there was news over the claim of Natuna Islands (by another country). It was completely untrue, Retno said in her press statement to mass media in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday (21/11).
According to the Foreign Minister, Indonesias ownership on Natuna Islands was already registered at the United Nations (UN) and all parties, including China, never raised an objection.
As the latest evidence, the Minister quoted the statement of Chinese spokesperson who mentioned that Indonesia owned Natuna Islands.
This is the Indonesian territory. Over, Retno firmly said.
The Minister explained that the delimitation, including Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental border was drawn from those line, considering several countries were on dispute over the features, such as the islands, atolls, reefs and others.
In this case, Indonesia does not have overlapping claim with any other countries, the Minister said.
Minister Retno admitted that there was overlap in continental boundaries between Indonesia and Malaysia related Natuna Islands. However, she added, the problem had been resolved and registered at the UN.
Meanwhile, related to the overlapping in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with Malaysia at the West and Vietnam at the North, according to the Minister, it is still under negotiation.
She mentioned that Indonesia and Malaysia had appointed a special delegation to accelerate the negotiation process.
Meanwhile, the negotiation with Vietnamese side which has been stopped for a long time will be revived and there will be another meeting at the end of the year, she added.
Indonesia called on all parties to restrain from taking actions that will heat up the tension in the region, the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said Indonesia would prioritize dialog to resolve the issue.
Regarding nine-dash line, we agree that freedom of sailing and code of conduct has come to the surface. However, we want to use dialog in dealing with the issue. Luhut said.
Luhut added Indonesia planned a cooperation in the exploration of potential energy field in Natuna, but the plan was delayed because the price of gas dropped. (ANT/ES) (RAS/EP/YM/Naster)