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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:02, June 22, 2005
Roundup: Indonesian president's visit yields closer anti-terror cooperation with Philippines
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Visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonoand Philippine President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo Tuesday vowed to strengthen efforts in their fight against terrorism through poverty eradication.

At a dinner in honor of President Yudhoyono on Tuesday, President Arroyo said that poverty is seen as the root cause for terrorism and the poorest places are the breeding ground for terrorists.

The Indonesian president arrived at Manila on Monday night for his first state visit to the Philippines.

"We are both determined to rid terrorism from our fronts as we are both determined to eradicate the poverty which has become the ground for terrorism," Arroyo said.

She also highlighted the value of information sharing and cooperation in the anti-terrorism fight.

At the dinner, President Yudhoyono reaffirmed his country's commitment to closer cooperation which he said, is based on the " historical closeness, social and cultural affinity" between the two countries.

The Indonesia-based JI Southeast Asian terrorist network, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which is notorious for making the deadly Bali bombings in October 2002, has been confirmed by the Philippine military active in the southern islands of Mindanao.

With the arrest of some JI high-profiled members in the Philippines, the Al Qaeda-linked group was believed to collaborate with Filipino rebels in terrorist plots and run terrorism training base in the country.

"Our two countries successes in tracking down and arresting those responsible for high-profiled terrorism and heinous acts are a test to our common commitment," Arroyo said.

"For countries like us that had long experience with terrorism, we cannot ignore the possibility of renewed attacks including those terrorist cells in our countries or other countries," she added.

Last week, the Philippine military and police rescued two of the three kidnapped Indonesian seamen on June 14, who had been kept in captivity in Mindanao since March.

Prior to the three-day visit to the Philippines, President Yudhoyono conveyed his personal thanks to President Arroyo for the safe release of the two Indonesians seamen, which, he said, was resulted from "the closer bilateral ties between the two countries in countering terrorism and transnational crimes."

He also announced that anti-terrorism would top his agenda of his visit to the Philippines.

On the sidelines of President Yudhoyono's visit to the Philippines, Indonesian and Philippine police chiefs released a joint statement here Tuesday, in which they decided to enhance cooperation in the capture of more JI members.

The joint statement said that they will enhance the existing bilateral cooperation for preventing and suppressing terrorist activities, coordinate the apprehension as well as interrogation of apprehended suspected criminals and terrorists and share technical and operational expertise.

Source: Xinhua


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