Indonesia, Australia extend counterterrorism cooperation agreement

Indonesia, Australia extend counterterrorism cooperation agreement

Chief of the Indonesian Counter-terrorism National Board (BNPT) Police Commissioner General Suhardi Alius and Australia's ambassador for counterterrorism Paul Folley sign cooperation agreement in Yogyakarta, on Friday (7/12/2018). (ANTARA News/HO)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Australia have extended their counterterrorism cooperation agreement aimed at having a significant impact on bilateral cooperation in dealing with terrorism and violence-based extremism.

Chief of the Indonesian National Counter-terrorism Board (BNPT) Commissioner General Suhardi Alius and Australian Ambassador for Counterterrorism Paul Folley signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to that effect during a meeting themed "Consultation and Signing Ceremony of the MoU on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism" in Yogyakarta on Friday.

They signed the MoU in the presence of representatives from agencies related to counterterrorism in Indonesia, including the State Intelligence Board, Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Center, Foreign Ministry, Attorney General`s Office, Law and Human Rights Ministry, Strategic Intelligence Board of the National Defense Forces, and the National Police`s Counter-terrorism Squad, Densus 88.

"Today, we extended bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Australia and exchanged information and views related to counterterrorism between the two countries," the BNPT chief noted in a press statement.

The two countries signed the counterterrorism cooperation agreement in 2015.

Suhardi said prevention is more preferable than law enforcement and that information exchange involving ministries and institutions of the two countries is needed.

The information exchange will help the two countries prevent and identify terrorism networks, he affirmed.

"No single country is immune to terrorism. Hence, we need bilateral, regional, and global cooperation, and we have done so with Australia," he noted.

Meanwhile, Folley remarked that relations between Indonesia and Australia have run well to a level of comprehensive strategic cooperation.

At the meeting, delegations of the two countries discussed national strategy to counter terrorism, the newest Indonesian law on terrorism, and efforts to deal with violence-based extremism and terrorism funding, among others.

Folley, who led the Australian delegation to the meeting, congratulated the Indonesian government on the passage of the new terrorism law.

Reporting by Sigit Pinardi, Suharto

Editing by Sri Haryati