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DFA welcomes Indonesian expertise to quell extremism

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (AP file photo)

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday announced that Indonesia has offered to assist the Philippine government in quelling extremism right before it becomes a threat in Mindanao.

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Indonesia would be lending its “best practices” in Islamic education to Philippine state security forces as part of efforts to address and prevent extremism.

“Indonesia is one of the models for the kind of Islamic education that the Philippines and ASEAN can look into to counter the rise of extremism,” Cayetano said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Our Indonesian friends do not want to see another Marawi happening and are offering to help us counter radicalization through education,” he said.

This initiative was part of Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s pledge during his visit to Davao, Cayetano said, adding that she was expected to visit President Rodrigo Duterte to announce her government’s full support.

“We look forward to working not only with Indonesia but also with other like-minded Islamic countries in defeating the threat posed to all of us by extremist groups,” Cayetano said.

According to Cayetano, the offer was among the initiatives taken up during the tripartite meetings against extremism held last year in Manila between the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. /jpv

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