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Singapore, Malaysia move to cool airspace and sea disputes

January 8, 2019

SINGAPORE (AP) — Officials from Singapore and Malaysia have met and agreed to resolve disputes over airspace and territorial waters that have driven a wedge between the Southeast Asian neighbors.

The spat concerns waters off western Singapore that both countries have formally claimed. They also disagree on an instrument landing system used by a Singapore civilian airport since January that allows landings in low visibility. Malaysia argues that the landings would encroach on its airspace and has declared an area as restricted for military activities.

On Tuesday, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, suspended the landing system and restrictions for a month to allow further discussions. They also announced a working group to ease maritime tensions.

The countries were briefly merged in 1963 but separated soon after.

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