Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines agree to intensify maritime security

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have signed a document outlining the framework for trilateral cooperation on swift response to discuss maritime security areas of common concern.

The assistant for operations to the Indonesian Military (TNI) chief, the deputy chief of staff for operations of the Philippine Armed Forces, and the deputy secretary of marine security and sovereignty division of the Malaysian prime ministers National Security Council signed the document after the third Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on trilateral maritime patrols and issued a decision on Thursday night (July 14).

Spokesman for the TNI information center Colonel Sultan Djanieb noted in a press statement issued on Friday that the framework was designed to operate on a common declaration signed by the foreign ministers and military chiefs of the three countries regarding prompt responses to discuss maritime security areas of common concern adopted at a meeting in Yogyakarta on May 5, 2016.

The third JWG meeting also discussed details of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be included in the framework document, he stated.

"The SOPs contain details of operational arrangements that the three countries will implement as a prompt response to address security issues within the maritime areas of common concern," he remarked.

The trilateral cooperation is aimed at strengthening and coordinating patrols in the maritime territories of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines by intensifying communication, exchanging information and intelligence, deploying Naval assets swiftly to ensure prompt response to ships in danger as well as to threats to humans, and maintaining sound communication with the maritime command center.

Before signing the document, the Indonesian delegation, led by the assistant for operations to the TNI chief, and the Philippine delegation, headed by the assistant to the Armed Forces chief for operations, held a meeting on July 12 as part of the efforts to follow up on the meeting between the two countries defense ministers held on June 27, 2016.(*)