Indonesia, Philippines to Ratify Landmark Maritime Boundary Deal

File photo: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, gestures while talking with Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during a signing ceremony at the Malacanang Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines Friday, April 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

By Philip J. Heijmans

Indonesia and the Philippines said they will begin to ratify a deal in August to establish a boundary between overlapping so-called exclusive economic zones.

The deal, which was signed in May, will bolster economic ties by determining the limits of borders in the Mindanao and Celebes seas – marking the end of 20 years of negotiations.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo jointly announced the timeline during a meeting on the sidelines of the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok late Saturday.

“This ratification will provide legal certainty for law enforcement and increase maritime cooperation,” according to the statement released by the Indonesian government.

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