Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia to discuss counter-terrorism in Manila

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A trilateral meeting will be held in Manila by Indonesia and its two neighboring countries, Malaysia and the Philippines, to discuss counter-terrorism efforts, on Thursday (June 22).

"A trilateral meeting will be held the day after tomorrow, particularly on counter-terrorism related to Marawi, and I have reported this to the President (Joko Widodo) just now," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said at the presidential palace complex here on Tuesday.

The meeting will be attended by military and police officials, as well as those of counter-terrorism and intelligence agencies from the three nations.

In this case, Indonesia will be sending officials from Polri (National Police), TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces), BNPT (National Counter-Terrorism Agency), and BIN (National Intelligence Agency).

The meeting is expected to initiate cooperation in counter-terrorism in the three neighboring countries.

The initiative is a follow up of the trilateral meeting held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in May 2016, where the three countries agreed on a joint maritime patrol in their maritime borders.

On Monday (June 19), in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo, Malaysian Defense Forces Commander General Tan Sri Dato Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Eduardo M Ano signed an inscription on the inauguration of Maritime Command Centers (MCC) set up in the three nations.

Indonesias MCC is located in Tarakan, Malaysias MCC in Tawau, and The Philippines MCC in Bongao.

The centers will act as regional security posts that will patrol and monitor operation of boats and ships in their marine border areas.

The MCC will also help coordinate preventive and strategic steps that will include joint maritime patrol, rescue efforts in case of sea accidents, and establishment of national focal points for information sharing, including on intelligence information, as well as forming of a communication network to facilitate coordination during emergency situation. (*)