Jakarta – Indonesia and Timor Leste have been committed to solving their border problem at Noelbesi-Citrana in Kupang district, East Nusa Tenggara province, a senior minister said.
"The dispute persists there. But it does not mean that it cannot be solved," Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said here Tuesday.
Wiranto said at his meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi and Timor Lest Maritime Border Chief Negotiator Xanana Gusmao earlier in the day, both countries have agreed to go ahead with their plan to set up a Senior Official Consultation (SOC) to solve the border dispute.
The former Indonesian military chief said Xanana Gusmao, who was the first Timor Leste president visited the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs early 2017. At the meeting, both sides decided to set up the SOC, which was supposed to start working in March 2017.
However, Timor Leste asked for time until July 2017 to settle its internal democratic issue, causing the two countries to postpone the creation of the organization, he said.
"The settlement (of the border dispute) has been disrupted due to general election. As the election is over, we continue (the negotiations) again," he said.
He expressed hope that the border dispute can be solved amicably without causing tension between the two countries. (*)