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PHL, Malaysia, Indonesia agree to explore joint air patrols in transit areas

11 October 2016 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post

By Priam F. Nepomuceno

President Rodrigo Duterte joins other heads of states on stage during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos on September 6. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte joins other heads of states on stage during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos on September 6. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (PNA) – The defense chiefs of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to explore joint air patrols in transit corridors considered by the three nations as maritime areas of common concern.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin and Indonesian Defense Minister Ryacudu reached the agreement on the sidelines of the ASEAN-US Defense Dialogue in Hawaii last October 1.

The trilateral cooperation among the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia contributes to a stronger ASEAN, the defense department’s assistant secretary for strategic assessment Raymund Jose Quilop said in a statement issued Monday.

Quilop said the cooperation among the three nations is driven by the need to address the rising incidents of armed robbery at sea, kidnapping and piracy in the three countries’ areas of common concern.

He noted that the trilateral meeting has evolved to become a platform for the defense ministers to address other emerging common concerns to include violent extremism.

Quilop further said that the return of fighters from the conflict in the Middle East could eventually create security challenges for the three countries, something which the defense chiefs recognized, hence their decision to set up the cooperation.

With the political support of their respective political leaders, Presidents Rodrigo Duterte and Jokowi Widodo and Prime Minister Najib Razak, the three defense chiefs have expressed confidence that the apparent intent of Islamic State-affiliated groups in their respective countries to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia, similar to what the IS intends to put up in the Middle East, would not become a possibility, Quilop said.

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