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Malaysia drops island case against Singapore at top UN court


    Agence France-Presse

The Hague | Fri, June 1, 2018 | 09:36 pm
Malaysia drops island case against Singapore at top UN court Malaysia's newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad addresses civil servants from the Prime Minister's office during his first assembly in Putrajaya on May 21, 2018. (AFP/Manan Vatsyayana)

Malaysia has dropped its request before the UN's top court to overturn its ruling in a decades-old dispute with Singapore over a tiny but strategic island, the court announced Friday.

Malaysia in a letter on Monday "notified the Court that the parties had agreed to discontinue the proceedings in the aforementioned case," the International Court of Justice announced.

"Consequently the court made an order recording the discontinuance following the agreement of the parties... of the proceedings instituted by Malaysia against Singapore and directing the removal of the case from the Court's list," it said in a statement.

Two weeks of hearings, scheduled to start on June 11 have therefore been cancelled, the Hague-based ICJ added.

Malaysia lodged the case in February 2017, calling for the court to overturn its 2008 ruling granting its neighbour sovereignty over the disputed rocky outcrop.

Kuala Lumpur then maintained new documents had been discovered in British archives backing its territorial claim to the islet.

Malaysia calls the island Pulau Batu Puteh, while Singapore dubs it Pedra Branca (white rock).

The island is in a strategically important position, 7.7 nautical miles (14 kilometres) off Johor on the eastern approach to the Singapore Strait from the South China Sea.

Singapore had operated the Horsburgh Lighthouse on the granite island for more than 130 years without protest from its neighbour.

The ICJ on Friday gave no further details on the agreement reached between the two eastern Asian neighbours.

Established in 1946, the ICJ is the UN's highest court and rules in disputes between countries.


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