Indonesia wants concrete solutions to hostage-taking crisis in region
JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesia is working with Malaysia and the Philippines to deal with ongoing threats in the region.
Indonesia has called on its neighbors to immediately come up with concrete solutions to the hostage-taking crisis in the region after suspected Abu Sayyaf militants abducted 10 of its citizens in less than a month.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said Monday that Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was scheduled to meet with his Malaysian and Philippine counterparts in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to discuss the issue. “We have negotiated and we have made a deal, now I assert that it is very urgent for us to immediately realize the security cooperation on the field,” she said.
The meeting between the three ministers in Kuala Lumpur would follow up the trilateral agreement made in May, Minister Retno Marsudi said.
The trilateral agreement, made amid heightening threats in the regional waters, aimed to increase cooperation between the three countries on maritime security, including to tackle piracy and hostage-taking in the region.
Aside from concluding immediate actions, Retno called for Kuala Lumpur and Manila to enhance security in their territories since the abduction of Indonesian sailors occurred in the two countries’ territorial waters.
The urgency of immediate conduct of joint sea patrols and stepping up security in the regional waters became apparent on the heels of a string of kidnapping of Indonesian sailors in mid-2016, marking the third and fourth incidents of hostage-taking this year.
Seven tugboat crewmen were kidnapped in late June during coal delivery in the waters of southern Philippines, while three others were abducted last Saturday in Malaysian waters during fishing activities.
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