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Pedra Branca: Singapore Claims Economic Zone

Updated On: Jul 23, 2008

Two months after the International Court of Justice awarded its claim over the Pedra Branca island, Singapore is going ahead to claim an Exclusive Economic Zone.

In a statement in Parliament, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Balaji Sadasivan, said the “precise coordinates” would be announced at an appropriate time.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law Of the Sea (Unclos), a state can claim an Exclusive Economic Zone up to 200 nautical miles from its lands and islands, and up to 12 nautical miles of territorial sea.

If disputes arise with neighbouring countries, Singapore “will negotiate ... with the view to arriving at agreed delimitations in accordance with international laws”, he added.

Dr Balaji also expressed confidence that the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) judgement would not be overturned even if Malaysia produced a letter which the latter claims would prove the islet belonged to it. The letter was penned in :1844 by the British Governor of the time, William T Butterworth, seeking permission from the Temenggong and Sultan of Johor to build a lighthouse on Pedra Branca.

Last month, Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said he had ordered the letter tracked down so that Malaysia could appeal the ICJ’s ruling. Said Dr Sadasivan: “In our view, it is unlikely to make a difference to the Court’s judgement because it has already ruled that Johor had original title over Pedra Branca.”

Source: TODAY, 22 July, S’pore claims zone around Pedra Branca http://www.todayonline.com/articles/266357.asp







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