Abu Sayyaf Kidnapping Threatens Trilateral Cooperation

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 , 09:00:00 WIB - International

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (left) is seen having a discussion with the Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato Seri Anifah (right) in a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Monday (7/11). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The kidnapping of more Indonesian sailors allegedly by the Abu Sayyaf terror group in Sabah Malaysia has put the Indonesian-Malaysia-Philippines marine security cooperation plan in jeopardy.

House of Representatives Commission I Vice Chairman, Tubagus Hasanuddin, has requested the government to review the implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU).

"The government of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines has signed a trilateral MoU to secure each of their nation’s waters through cooperation. So, how is it that another kidnapping occurred?" he said, in a written statement sent to gres.news, Tuesday (22/11).

According to him, the MoU, signed by the nations’ minister of defense, was about to be further discussed with the army commanders. "With the MoU, the army commanders from each nation would discuss the concept of the joint operations or joint patrol," Tubagus further stated.

The MoU, which was signed in Yogyakarta on Thursday, 5 April 2016, agreed upon four points. First, an agreement to conduct coordinated joint patrol. Second, provide direct assistance to people or vessels in trouble. Third, form a joint task force to share intelligence to be able to respond to threats quickly. And fourth, establish a hotline to gather information to be able to respond to emergency situations.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said Malaysia is responsible for the security in its waters. "We want their attention once more to be responsible for (the security of) their waters," she said.

The minister recently visited the nation. "The point of my visit is to show deep concern from the Indonesian government for the continuance of the kidnapping of our (Indonesian, red) sailors, which was the third in Malaysian waters," she said. (dtc)