Malaysia, Singapore agree to suspend permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang, ILS for Seletar Airport
SINGAPORE: Malaysia will immediately suspend its permanent restricted area in the airspace over Pasir Gudang, while Singapore will similarly suspend its implementation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for Seletar Airport.
The suspension will be in place for one month in the first instance, said the foreign ministers of both countries in a joint press statement on Tuesday (Jan 8) after meeting in Singapore to discuss bilateral issues, including the ongoing dispute over airspace.
In the meantime, the transport ministers of both countries should meet "soon" for discussions on the permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang and the ILS procedures to ensure the safety and efficiency of civil aviation, said the joint statement.
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah said they had a “positive and constructive” meeting.
“Both sides reiterated their commitment to preserving the vital relationship between both countries and to improving bilateral ties, on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” said the joint statement.
The two ministers also agreed on the importance of keeping the situation on the ground calm to allow discussions to take place in a conducive atmosphere.
On maritime issues involving the port limits of Singapore and Malaysia, both ministers agreed to establish a working group to study and discuss legal and operational matters, in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground and provide a basis for further discussions and negotiations.
The working group will be headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chee Wee Kiong and the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Muhammad Shahrul Ilra Yaakob.
The working group will report to the foreign ministers within two months, the statement said.
It added: "Both foreign ministers were pleased with the progress made at the meeting, and welcomed the positive steps that both sides had agreed on to move these matters forward in a calm and constructive manner."