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Trilateral security cooperation in Sulu Sea will be launched in May

Friday, 28 April 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Come next month, trilateral security cooperation to implement patrolling and joint monitoring of air and maritime in the Sulu Sea involving Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will be launched in Bongao, the Philippines.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the trilateral cooperation was aimed at addressing the current security challenges in the region, including cross-border crimes and the threat of terrorist groups, including the Daish militants.

“The 3 countries agreed to establish a trilateral cooperation in the Sulu Sea. This cooperation shows the 3 countries can sit together to find solutions in dealing with security issues.

“We will also launch a maritime initiative in Sabah and air initiative in Indonesia. However, the date for the launch (will be announced) in the Philippines…the three launches will be held in the presence of defence ministers of the three countries,” he said.

He was speaking after the launch of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN)’s Western Fleet Command and Eastern Fleet Command in conjunction with the Navy’s 83rd anniversary celebration at the naval base in Sepanggar near here yesterday. Also present was RMN Chief, Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.

Hishammuddin said the trilateral cooperation among the 3 countries was also crucial to ensure the safety of the country’s waters, especially in the east coast of Sabah, to be free and secure from any threat from terror group Abu Sayyaf.

“We all know that the Abu Sayyaf militants have pledged allegiance to the militant Daesh. Therefore, close cooperation between the three neighbouring countries is very important to combat these threats,” he said.

In a related development, Hishammuddin, who is also Minister of Special Duties, said the national security issues, especially in Sabah should not be politicised by any party as various efforts were implemented to protect people in the state from harm.

“The Ministry of Defence has implemented various initiatives, including to place various defence assets in Sabah to ensure that no party denies Sabah”s position in Malaysia. All (the initiatives and assets) have nothing to do with politics because we (the government) want to continue to defend every inch of Sabah,” he added.

Commenting on the Western Fleet Command and Eastern Fleet Command, Hishammuddin said the establishment of the two fleets was crucial to ensure the Navy”s ability in carrying out operations in providing security in the country’s waters.

Source by: Internet

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