Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines agree joint maritime patrol

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 05:59 GMT, May 6, 2016 |

Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines on Thursday (May 5) agreed to conduct joint maritime patrols to tackle criminal threats on key sea lanes.

The decision was made following a series of kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf rebels in the southern Philippines.

“We agreed to strengthen cooperation and collaboration to address security challenges. We will undertake the coordinated patrol in the maritime areas of our common concern,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi

Indonesia is trying to free four of its citizens seized by the group and has been repeatedly calling for joint patrols with Philippines and Malaysia, who also have citizens being held captive.

“We recognise the threats from the armed robbery against ships, kidnapping, and other trans-national crimes if not addressed appropriately can undermine, can undermine, the confidence in trade and commerce in our region in general,” she added.

Details on the agreement will be discussed at the next ministerial meeting as the joint patrol could involve crossing borders Marsudi added.

The ministers also agreed to set up a hotline between the three nations to enhance information exchange.