Jumat, 23 Juni 2017

INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, PHILIPPINES ENHANCE COOPERATION IN COUNTERTERRORISM by Fardah

 Jakarta, June 23, 2017 (Antara) - The neighboring countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have agreed to collaborate to address the common threats of terrorism and violent extremism confronting the region, as terrorism is an extraordinary crime that transcends borders.
        The nations are committed to effectively addressing existing and emerging transnational challenges and threats that have the potential to undermine the stability and well-being of countries in the region.
        The commitment was stated in a joint statement issued during the Trilateral Meeting on Security held in Manila on June 22, 2017, and attended by Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anifah Hj. Aman, and Filipino Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter S. Cayetano.
        During the meeting, the ministers raised concerns over the recent incidents of terrorism and violent extremism in their countries and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to jointly develop and implement counterterrorism measures and strategies.
        They deliberated and agreed to task their senior officials to consider the proposed plan of action, in the context of several measures and to report thereon at their next meeting.
        The measures include enhancing efforts and cooperation to address the root causes and underlying conditions of extremism, including those not limited to poverty, narcotics or illegal drugs, crime, and social injustice.

        They also agreed to stop the flow of funds to finance terrorists and enhance intelligence and information sharing among all security and intelligence agencies on potential, imminent, and real threats.
        They highlighted the need to contain the spread of terrorism and related content in cyberspace, particularly on social media, and to prevent and suppress the exploitation of information and communication technology by terrorists, as well as the dissemination of terrorist messages.
        Preventing and stopping the flow of illicit arms and arms smuggling as well as the movement of all terrorists are part of their agenda.
        Deradicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs will also be promoted as part of the comprehensive measures in countering terrorism.
        They also emphasized the need to protect and safeguard vulnerable groups, particularly women, children, and the youth, from the influence of terrorism.
        The ministers agreed that their next meeting will be held in Indonesia in October 2017.
        The trilateral meeting also involved military commanders, police chiefs, counterterrorism units, and intelligence agencies of the three countries.
        In addition to Minister Marsudi, Indonesia was represented by Chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces General Gatot Nurmantyo, Chief of the Indonesian National Police General Tito Karnavian, and Chief of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency Commissioner General Suhardi Alius.
        The Manila meeting was a follow-up to the first trilateral meeting held in Yogyakarta last year.
        The Yogyakarta meeting resulted in the implementation of coordinated maritime patrols and commencement of operations of the Maritime Command Center (MCC) at the Tarakan Naval Main Base, North Kalimantan.
        According to Director of Indonesian Citizens Protection of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the standard operating procedure from last year's meeting, in a bid to maintain security in Sulu and its surrounding waters to prevent the capture of fishermen or ship crews, can be extended to stem the spillover effect of terrorists from Marawi to the surrounding countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
        "This second trilateral meeting has a strong foundation, and so, we are optimistic that (the results of) this meeting would be more operational or workable in the short term," Iqbal noted.
        Meanwhile, the respective commanders of the defense forces of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, on June 19, had signed an inscription for the inauguration of the MCC at the Tarakan Naval Main Base in North Kalimantan.    
   Indonesia's MCC is located in Tarakan, while Malaysia's center is in Tawau, and that of the Philippines is in Bongao.
        The inscription was signed by Indonesian Military Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo, Malaysian Military Commander General Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, and Chief of Staff of the Filipino Armed Forces General Eduardo M. Ano AFP.
        In his speech, Nurmantyo remarked that the inauguration of the MCC was a follow up of the 2016 Joint Declaration in Yogyakarta between the three countries in an attempt to maintain security in Sulu and their other maritime borders, where hijacking and pirating frequently occur.
        The commanders agreed to implement several preventive strategic measures, such as conducting joint patrols, providing immediate assistance to save humans and ships in an emergency, establishing a national focal point between the three countries to exchange information, and forming a communication network to facilitate coordination in emergency situations.
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EDITED BY INE/a014

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 23-06-2017

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