Indonesia releases four Vietnamese boats after clash in disputed waters

By Khanh Lynh   May 25, 2017 | 02:18 pm GMT+7

The two sides are trying to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels.

Indonesia has released four of the five Vietnamese fishing boats it seized on Sunday along with most of the 55 fishermen who were captured for crossing into Indonesian waters near the Natuna Islands, according to a Vietnamese government statement.

indonesia-releases-four-vietnamese-boats-after-clash-in-disputed-waters

A sinking Vietnamese fishing boat. Photo courtesy of Indonesia's Fisheries Ministry.

One of the four boats sank on its way back to Vietnam, and an Indonesian officer was rescued by Vietnamese coast guards, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released on Thursday.

Vietnam has asked Indonesia to release the remaining boat and fishermen, and the two countries have agreed to work together to resolve the situation peacefully, said the statement.

"The two countries' diplomatic departments are in contact and are working together to prevent similar incidents from happening again," said Hoang Anh Tuan, Vietnam's ambassador to Indonesia.