Tue, 08 Mar 2005

Time line of Ambalat dispute

1979: Malaysia unilaterally draws up a map delineating its territorial limits, which the Indonesian government says includes parts of its territory in eastern Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

Feb. 8, 1980: Indonesia relays a protest to Malaysia over Kuala Lumpur's claim over the area of Ambalat in the Sulawesi Sea, off the northern coast of east Kalimantan. Indonesia claims the area for itself. Jakarta says Malaysia's unilateral claim of a territorial border has no legal power and that the delimitation of a maritime border must be conducted through negotiations, in line with international law.

Sept. 1999: The Indonesian government grants oil concession rights to ENI, an Italian oil company, in the Ambalat offshore area.

Dec. 2002: Indonesia loses the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan near Ambalat to Malaysia in a legal battle at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Netherlands.

Sept. 2003: Malaysia conducts a seismic survey of deepwater oil blocks near east Kalimantan, which it refers to as blocks Y and Z.

Dec. 13, 2004: The Indonesian government grants concession rights to U.S. oil company Unocal Indonesia in the Ambalat area.

June 2004: Malaysian marines hold live-fire shooting exercises in the waters of Sipadan and Ligitan islands, which Jakarta says is Indonesian territory.

Jan. 7, 2005: The Indonesian Navy claims a Malaysian warship fired on an Indonesian trawler and that Malaysian marines detained an employee of an Indonesian shipping company as he was repairing a signal light on Karan Unarang, east of Sebatik island.

Feb. 16, 2005: Malaysia's state oil and gas company Petronas signs two production sharing contracts with Shell Malaysia for deepwater blocks Y and Z.

Feb. 25, 2005: Indonesia lodges a protest with Malaysia over its awarding of oil concession rights in the Sulawesi Sea, referred to as the Ambalat Block and the East Ambalat Block, both claimed by Indonesia.

Feb. 28, 2005: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi states that the oil concession rights granted by Petronas to Shell in the Sulawesi Sea are located in Malaysian territory, while three Indonesian warships sail to the area.

March 3, 2005: A Malaysian Beechcraft Super King plane violates Indonesian airspace over the Sulawesi Sea, according to the Indonesian Navy, the fourth Malaysian aircraft to violate Indonesian airspace over the last 10 days, according to the Indonesians.

March 4, 2005: The spokesman of Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marty Natalegawa, says Indonesia is committed to settling the Ambalat row through diplomacy and will not take the case to the International Court of Justice.

March 5, 2005: The Indonesian Navy says it has deployed seven warships to patrol the area around Ambalat.

March 6, 2005: The Indonesian Air Force dispatches four F-16 fighter jets to the disputed Ambalat offshore area.

March 7, 2005: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Malaysian Prime Minister Badawi agree in a telephone call to a meeting of foreign ministers to defuse the crisis.

Sources: Kompas, The Jakarta Post and others

JP/Darul Aqsha





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