Singapore to return airspace near Changi to Indonesia

Singapore to return airspace near Changi to Indonesia

Indonesia and Singapore have settled a dispute over airspace and signed an extradition deal after years of disagreement.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo witnessed the signing of a treaty on extradition of fugitives as well as a memorandum of understanding on the flight information region on Tuesday. That means Indonesia will control all airspace within its territory, including over Riau and Natuna islands, Jokowi said.

The agreements conclude years of debate between the two neighboring countries. In 2015, Jokowi started pushing to reclaim the airspace over the islands, which has been managed by the city-state since 1946. The area serves as a corridor for flights in and out of Singapore’s Changi airport, one of the busiest in Asia.

Indonesia has sought an extradition treaty with Singapore since 1998 in a bid to bring corruption suspects who flee to the city-state back home to face court, Indonesia’s law ministry said in a Tuesday statement. 

The two countries also signed other deals including those on central bank cooperation, green transition, aligning vaccine data and defence cooperation.

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