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November 24, 2008

Indonesia, Malaysia signs accord on air patrols

Asean neighbours Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to adopt a permanent procedure for coordinated air patrols along their common borders, reported Indonesian national news agency Antara.

The accord was reached in the 37th session of the General Border Committee of Malaysia-Indonesia (GBC Malindo), Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander General Djoko Santoso said on the sidelines of the sixth session of the High Level Committee of the GBC Malindo on Friday.

The permanent procedure would cover among other things the aspects of number of personnel, frequency and location of the coordinated air patrols.

"The air patrols are mainly aimed at monitoring security conditions along the Malaysian-Indonesian borders which are prone to illegal activities," he said.

The air patrols could be conducted monthly, depending on the situation, according to Supiadin, operations assistant to the TNI commander.

"They will be implemented in the same way as the coordinated operations in the Malacca Strait," he said.

Malaysia and Indonesia share land and marine borders in Kalimantan (Borneo) and marine borders in the Malacca Strait, South China Sea, and Sulawesi Sea.

In Kalimantan, they have a 2,004 kilometer-long common border separating Indonesia`s East Kalimantan province from Malaysia`s Sabah state, and Indonesia`s West Kalimantan province from Malaysia`s Sarawak state. It is prone to timber smuggling activities from Indonesia to Malaysia.

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