Indonesia, Philippines to Boost Cooperation on Maritime Security, Anti-Illegal Drug Operation

Jakarta,  08 Dzulhijjah 1437/10 September 2016 (MINA) – The governments of Indonesia and the Philippines on Friday vowed to step up cooperation to boost security in the regional waters and fight against illegal drug abuse.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with his Filipino counterpart Rodrigo Duterte at the State Palace on Friday, expressing commitment to fight against extremism in both nations.

“We expressed commitment to take all necessary steps to ensure security in the two seas and maritime areas of common interest,” Xinhua quoted President Duterte as telling a joint press conference.

The commitment was made as hijacking, mostly undertaken by Abu Sayyaf bandits in the regional waters, has been on the rise since earlier this year.

A total of 25 Indonesian seamen and scores of foreign nationals have been held hostage by Abu Sayyaf captors; 14 of the Indonesians have been released and two others escaped.

On his part, President Widodo expressed gratitude to the Philippines on the cooperation and expected to end this problem in the future.

On drug abuse, the two leaders expressed deep concerns over the illegal trade of drugs and its risks.

“We shared a deep concern on the trade of an illicit and illegal drug and its impact in our societies. We will seek and intensify cooperation and the campaign against this menace. We all will do our parts,” said President Duterte.

On terrorism, the two leaders agreed to work together to prevent, arrest and prosecute all of the militants spreading terror in societies, said Duterte.

Militants in Central Sulawesi of Indonesia have cooperated with the Abu Sayyaf to get arm supplies, according to Indonesian police. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)