Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines Agree to Boost Sea Security
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines agreed on Thursday to boost maritime security following the kidnapping at sea of Indonesia by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants. Foreign ministers and military chiefs of the three countries held talks in Indonesia’s ancient royal capital city of Yogyakarta. Making out the details of joint patrols to protect shipping in waters between three borders areas.
Indonesia Foreign Minister
The threat from robbery, kidnapping and other transnational crime, if not addressed appropriately can underline the confidence in trade and commerce, which in turn can adversely affect the economic activities and welfare of people in the surrounding areas, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.
She said area between Zulu island in southern Philippines and Indonesia’s Sulawesi island is a strategic economic waterway where over 55 million metric tons of crude and over 18 million people pass through.
Abu Sayyaf militants
Abu Militants on Sunday, freed 10 of 14 Indonesian crewmen who were seized at sea in March. The first of three attacks on tugboats that have sparked a regional maritime security alarm. April, the militants beheaded Canadian John Ridsdel after failing to get 300 million pesos as ransom.
It said they agreed to render immediate as assistance for the safety of people and ships in distress within the area and to intensify cooperation in sharing information and intelligence as well as to establish a hotline of communication to improve cooperation during emergency and security threats.
More than a dozen foreign and local hostages remain in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf, including another Canadian and Norwegian who were kidnapped last September and a Dutch bird watcher who was kidnapped more were kidnapped more than three years ago.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines agreed a joint declaration the participants issued later expressed ‘’grave concern’’ over the growing security challenges. Such as those arising from armed robbery transnational crimes and terrorism in the region.
Both the United States and the Philippines label Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization.