January 4, 2022
SINGAPORE – Singapore and Indonesia have made good progress in discussions on key bilateral issues, in line with a framework that the two countries agreed on in 2019, a spokesman for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Monday (Jan 3).
While MFA’s spokesman did not specify what the key issues were, the 2019 framework addresses two issues: airspace management and military training.
The framework was agreed upon by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat on Oct 8, 2019.
Commenting on the framework at the time, PM Lee said: “This framework acknowledges that the core interests and rights of both countries must be recognised and respected. And that Indonesia and Singapore should negotiate agreements on these two issues that are durable and for the long haul.”
He had added that the framework offers a sound and comprehensive basis to work out solutions to the two issues, separately but concurrently.
MFA’s spokesman said on Monday that since the retreat, both countries have had extensive discussions on the issues.
“We welcome the good progress in these discussions to reach a balanced set of agreements on these issues for the long term,” he said, adding that Singapore looks forward to being able to cap the discussions at the next Leaders’ Retreat, which is due to be hosted soon by Indonesia.
He added that Singapore’s MFA is working closely with its Indonesian counterpart to convene the next retreat in Indonesia.