Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Singapore and Malaysia meet on January 8 in the Republic, Political News & Top stories

SINGAPORE – The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Singapore and Malaysia will meet in the Republic on January 8, the Singapore Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday (January 1).

This follows a meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat had with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday (December 31), the ministry said in response to media queries.

Teo and Heng had visited Putrajaya to convey a message to Dr. Mahathir on behalf of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, according to the ministry.

It added that there were also plans to meet the ministers of transport of both countries soon.

The statement did not deal with what will be discussed, but Bernama quoted the Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on Tuesday saying that the airspace dispute would be on the agenda.

Saifuddin had unveiled the December 31 meeting between DPM Teo and Dr Mahathir and said, "My visit to Singapore is a continuation of the meeting yesterday, there are several issues, but the one that needs immediate treatment is Singapore's plans for Seletar Airport, which will pass through the airspace above Pasir Gudang, Johor. "

Saifuddin also said: "We have protested and the airspace declared a limited area, and this will be a problem for Singapore." I am convinced that the problem will be discussed properly in order to find a win-win solution for both countries. "

Separately on Tuesday, the Ministry of Transport of Singapore said in response to media inquiries that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia had published a Notice to Airmen (Notam) on December 25th.

The notification informed the airline community about the establishment of Malaysia of a permanent Restricted Area with a view to military activities on Pasir Gudang with effect from 2 January.

"The Restricted Area located in a controlled and congested airspace will affect the existing and normal operations of aircraft passing through the airspace," said the Ministry of Transport.

"We have expressed our concern with Malaysia about the negative impact of limited space for civil aviation in Singapore." Singapore has proposed to come together to discuss the establishment of the Restricted Area, "it said.

Airspace and port limits have become a bilateral problem in recent months.

Malaysia has objected to new landing procedures at Seletar Airport to be maintained on 3 January. The Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures will adversely affect developments in Johor & # 39; s Pasir Gudang Port and seek to reclaim the management of airspace, where Singapore has been providing air traffic services since 1974.

Singapore has pointed out that ILS – which will lead pilots who land there with ground tools instead of relying on their visual assessment – poses no security or security risks for the activities in the port of Pasir Gudang.

It also said that the management of airspace has nothing to do with sovereignty, but in 1973 it was transferred to Singapore's management under an agreement with regional states, including Malaysia, and this was approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

On October 25, Kuala Lumpur also unilaterally extended Johor Baru port limits to affect Singapore's territorial waters of Tuas. In response to the extensive Johor Baru port limits, Singapore expanded its own port limits on December 6, a movement that attracted protest from Malaysia.

Both countries had previously agreed to meet in January.

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