Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on Monday signed a document on standard operating procedures (SOP) for trilateral maritime cooperation, marking the official start of coordinated joint sea patrols to secure regional waters.
The signing of the framework was the result of a two-day trilateral defense ministers' meeting held in Bali from Aug. 1 to 2, where the ministers discussed follow-ups from a joint declaration on maritime security made in Yogyakarta in May.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu asserted the importance of the immediate implementation of the joint sea patrol to his counterparts, especially to tackle piracy and transnational crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking and drug smuggling.
“The cooperation will be of great significance to overcome security challenges in the countries’ border sea areas, which have been rife with threats in recent months,” Ryamizard said in a statement released by the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
The officials discussed deploying security personnel to guard commercial ships passing through Sulu waters in the Philippines, including a system to allow naval vessels to enter another nation’s territory. They also mulled joint efforts to secure the release of Indonesian and Malaysian sailors held hostage by Abu Sayyaf splinter groups in the Philippines.
Full article here The Jakarta Post
Map courtesy of ReCAAP Half Yearly Report