MANILA — In response to President Benigno Aquino III’s invitation, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono concludes his first bilateral visit in the country today.
As scheduled, the Indonesian president spent his first day yesterday attending the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA).
Today, he is expected to meet with President Aquino for an expanded bilateral meeting concerning political, defense and border, maritime, socio-cultural and economic cooperation.
The two countries have earlier accomplished their landmark agreement to end their decades-long conflict on the overlapping exclusive economic zones between Mindanao and Celebes Seas.
“The key challenge in addressing inequity is how to ensure that those at the bottom and middle also enjoy the same, if not more, socioeconomic mobility as those at the top; hence, mobility for all,” Yudhoyono told business and political leaders during the WEF-EA. A state dinner is also expected to be held today in honor of the Indonesian president’s visit where he is to be awarded with the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Raja.
PH-Indonesian resolution hailed
Foreign affairs official has earlier hailed the Philippines and Indonesia’s resolution of their decades-long maritime dispute over waters off the country’s tip as a “good example” of conflict resolution among nations.
In a statement referring to the country’s territorial dispute with China, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs said that such resolution is important because it serves as an example of a peaceful way to resolve disputes.
According to DFA, the resolution was reached following almost 20 years of negotiations made by both countries.
In contrast with the country’s territorial dispute with China, that of Indonesia does not involve territories or land and rock forms.
“This was the maritime boundary delimitation. There was an overlapping EEZ between the Philippines and Indonesia in the Celebes Sea and Mindanao Sea. So the boundary that we are talking about is all on water,” Jose explained.
“It’s a good example. It took us 20 years to conclude the negotiations. So we can be assured that we have patience, that we can negotiate that long,” Jose added.
With reports from Roy Mabasa