KRI Teluk Lampung Dock at the Mamburungan Navy Pier in North Kalimantan. (Source: Antara)

Jakarta (VNA) - The Indonesian House of Representatives of Indonesia has ratified a historic maritime agreement pertaining to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with the Philippines to safeguard the two countries’ maritime security from threats such as the Abu Sayyaf group.

In a hearing on April 18 with representatives of the Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Ministry, the Law and Human Rights Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Navy, lawmakers of the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing defense and foreign affairs agreed to ratify the maritime deal.

The maritime deal, signed in 2014 after 20 years of negotiations, draws a boundary between Indonesia and the Philippines in overlapping EEZ in the Mindanao Sea and Celebes Sea. This is the first maritime deal of the Philippines.

Commission I Deputy Chairman TB Hasanuddin, who presided over the hearing, called on the Government to follow up the ratification with concrete programs that would enhance maritime defense and boost Indonesia's economy, including eradicating illegal fishing, empowering local fishermen and addressing threats from the Philippine-based Abu Sayyaf group.-VNA