Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines ministers discuss strife-torn Marawi
THE foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on Sunday discussed how to prevent a recurrence of the Muslim extremist insurgency that engulfed the southern Philippine city of Marawi this year.
After their meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the ministers – Retno, Philippines Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman – agreed to adopt at a January meeting in Indonesia a proposed plan to staunch the threat of extremism through joint action.
In May, local militant groups that pledged allegiance to Islamic State seized control of a significant portion of Marawi, a predominantly Muslim city of over 200,000 on Mindanao, the Philippines southernmost major island.
Almost 50 civilians, nearly 170 government troops and over 900 militants died in the fighting that raged over five months.
Retno told reporters ahead of Sunday’s meeting that the Philippines would provide an update on the situation in Marawi, whose infrastructure was severely damaged by the fighting.
In June the foreign minister of the Philippines, an overwhelmingly Catholic country, agreed with the foreign ministers of Malaysia and Indonesia, both predominantly Muslim nations, to create the action plan as they share maritime borders which are hard to police.
A key aspect of the proposed action plan is addressing the roots of extremism including poverty, illegal drugs, crime and social injustice.
Other important aspects are stopping the flow of terrorist financing, enhancing intelligence sharing, and containing the spread of terrorismrelated content online. - Kyodo
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Philippines Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman issue a joint statement in Pasay City, Philippines, on June 22.