Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Australia have agreed to step up cooperation in the fields of intelligence and counter-terrorism.

The agreement was reached at the 2nd Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security meeting in Sydney on Wednesday.

The Indonesian delegation to the meeting was led by Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan along with other members, including National Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti, head of the National Anti-Terrorism Agency (BNN), Commissioner General Tito Karnavian, and Director General of Immigration of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Ronny F Sompie.

"The meeting went very well and we extensively discussed issues such as counter-terrorism, cooperation in the field of intelligence and capacity improvement in several fields. The meeting was very important for both the parties, considering the encouraging achievements made in the last one year," Minister Luhut said in a press release issued after the meeting and received by ANTARA.

The Australian delegation to the meeting was led by the countrys Attorney General, George Brandis, who was also accompanied by Australias Minister of Justice Michael Keenan.

As in the first meeting last year, several security and legal issues were talked about, including counter-terrorism, cyber security and intelligence operation.

"We exchanged information about threats in the region and commitment to strengthen intelligence cooperation between Indonesia and Australia so that the problem of terrorism could be overcome. We also discussed issues of funding, de-radicalization and cyber crimes," Brandis disclosed.

He reiterated that the two countries were keen to prevent acts of terror in their respective countries.

Citing an example of achieving success in overcoming terrorist threats, Minister Luhut referred to the mapping of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Southeast Asia, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"There are around 500 Indonesians in Syria and they want to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia. We have successfully mapped them. We have exchanged this information with Australia," Luhut informed.

Australias Minister of Justice and also Special Minister for Terrorism Affairs, Michael Keenan, underlined that both the countries face threats from international terrorist organizations.

"We are facing terrorists from the Middle East who have clearly declared war against other countries and have attacked our friends and neighbors. This cooperation will help respond to such threats. This is our opportunity to learn about implementation of law and build intelligence cooperation and we will keep collaborating," he stated.

On questions about flow of funds for terror activities from Australia to Indonesia, Minister Luhut noted that the matter was still being investigated by the two countries.

"Our parliaments right now are in the process of revising the anti-terrorism law that will allow law enforcers to arrest a person or a group suspected of planning to conduct any act of terror. The old law prohibits it. We hope the revision process would be finished next month," Luhut enunciated in reply to a reporters question.

The two sides stated that the meeting yielded concrete results.

The first meeting took place in Indonesia last year. This is a forum to coordinate cooperation and define the two countries responsibilities regarding international security, especially terrorism.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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