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PH, Malaysia, Indonesia defense chiefs tackle sea security

/ 02:49 PM June 20, 2016
abu sayyaf

A file picture of alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf group. (via The Star/ANN)

The defense chiefs of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia met on Monday to discuss growing maritime security concerns in the region, including the recent incidents of kidnappings and armed robbery at sea.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Malaysian Defense Minister HE Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Indonesian Defense Minister General Ryamizard Ryaducu met in Manila, the Department of National Defense (DND) said in a statement.

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The three defense chiefs previously met in Indonesia last May to discuss maritime issues, including the possibility of joint patrols.

READ: Indonesia, PH, Malaysia agree to joint patrol waters after kidnappings

At the meeting, they raised concerns over kidnappings at sea and reaffirmed the need to address such threats.

The Abu Sayyaf, known for its kidnap-for-ransom activities, had kidnapped Indonesian and Malaysian nationals at sea this year.

READ: 4 Indonesian hostages released by Abu Sayyaf | 4 Malaysians reported seized by Abu Sayyaf

“The ministers agreed that the best practices shared by Malaysia and Indonesia on their experiences in the Malacca Straits Patrol may be adopted as a model for trilateral cooperation to address common maritime security concerns,” the DND said.

Malacca Strait is one of the world’s busiest sea lanes and is threatened with piracy and terrorism.

Some of their agreements at the meeting include: to have coordinated activities among their respective militaries, especially on maritime security; possibility to establish joint military command posts at designated locations including ad hoc military liaisons on board; trilateral maritime and air patrol at the maritime areas of common concern; information and intelligence sharing pertaining to the maritime area of common concern.

It was also agreed that the armed forces and related agencies of the three countries are to expedite the finalization of relevant Standard Operating Procedures, the DND said. JE/rga

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TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, Abu Sayyaf group, ASG, Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Defense, Indonesia, kidnap, Kidnapping, Malaysia, Maritime, Maritime Dispute, Ryamizard Ryaducu, Voltaire Gazmin
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