Jakarta – The Indonesian government is aiming to resolve any remaining territorial disputes with Timor Leste by the end of this year, President Joko Widodo said after a bilateral meeting with his counterpart on Wednesday.
Since Timor Leste's independence from Indonesia in August 1999, both countries have settled a number of land ownership spats along the years. However, two settlements near the border continue to cause disagreement, namely Oepoli, a 1,211-hectare village in Kupang district; and Oben, a 142 hectare village in the northern part of Central Timor. Both are located near Timor Leste's Oecusse district.
"We discussed the dispute over both locations and we have agreed to resolve them by the end of this year," Joko told reporters after a meeting with Timor Leste Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo on Wednesday at the State Palace.
Joko added he would begin dealing with maritime territorial spats from the northern area and eventually to the southern area of the island which is split into Indonesia's Kupang province and Timor Leste.
Araujo said that he targeted to settle all territorial disputes on land and water with Indonesia during his five-year leadership. Joko also expressed his gratitude for Araujo's visit to Indonesia, the prime minister's first state visit since his election in February.
"This marks the importance of diplomatic relationship between Indonesia and Timor Leste," Joko says, adding that the two neighboring countries also discussed other issues, including infrastructure development, economy, trade and investment.