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PH-Indonesia maritime cooperation to “intensify” to fight extremism

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In the light of the recent Marawi City crisis in Mindanao, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte the President of the Republic of the Philippines seeks to intensify maritime cooperation with Indonesia especially for preventing the spread of extremism in the country.

Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi paid President Duterte a courtesy call at the Presidential guest house in Davao City. According to a statement by President Duterte’s office, during the meeting of Duterte and Marsudi agreed on elevating cooperation on trade, maritime security, education, and eradicating terrorism.

President Duterte also told Marsudi that “he wants to intensify maritime security cooperation with Indonesia as foreign and local terrorists continue to enter and exit the country despite the military efforts made to go after these elements.”

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a separate statement that the Philippines welcomes Indonesia’s offer to help fight violent extremism in the region.

“The Philippines welcomed Indonesia’s offer to share its best practices in Islamic education as part of the efforts to address and prevent extremism not just in the country but also in the rest of Southeast Asia,” Cayetano said.

Malacanang Palace has stated that President Duterte has again expressed his interest in the resumption of the Philippines-Indonesia routes to further strengthen the trade between the two countries.

Marsudi, on the other hand, has expressed her interest in pursuing the Philippine-Indonesian joint education program. She said that the Indonesian government wants to confer 300 passports for Indonesia descents living in Mindanao.

After the five-month Marawi City siege, Indonesia and the Philippines have started joint patrols in the seas bordering the three countries to counter efforts of Islamists extremists to establish a base in Southeast Asia.

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