22 February 2018
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  • » 01/25/2018, 14.41


    Six ASEAN nations agree to fight Islamic terrorism

    Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei launch the ‘Our Eyes’ initiative. The agreement is centred on exchanging information and creating an extremists database. In 2017 terrorists laid siege to Marawi (Philippines) for months. Other nations like the United States, Australia and Japan could join later.

    Bali (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Six South-east Asian nations agreed an intelligence pact today in Bali (Indonesia) aimed at fighting Islamist militants and improving security co-operation.

    All six – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei – belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Under the ‘Our Eyes’ initiative, senior defence officials will meet every two weeks to swap information on militant groups and develop a common database of violent extremists.

    The intelligence sharing arrangement comes after insurgents aligned with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) laid siege to Marawi, a city in the southern Filipino island of Mindanao, last year.

    Dozens of foreigners – most notably Indonesians and Malaysians – were among hundreds of militants who engaged in a ferocious battle with Filipino forces.

    Some of the fighters are believed to have travelled to Marawi via the porous maritime borders of the Sulu Sea, next to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, analysts believe.

    For Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, intelligence sharing will help ensure that another incident like the one in Marawi does not occur and will prevent the region from "becoming like the Middle East".

    Mr Ryacudu also mentioned the United States, Australia and Japan as possible future members.

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    See also

    15/01/2007 PHILIPPINES – ASEAN
    ASEAN members fear Chinese juggernaut
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    20/07/2009 ASIA
    ASEAN to protect human rights but only with consent of violating nation
    The 42nd ASEAN foreign ministers summit is underway in Phuket. The regional association has decided to set up a human rights commission. Experts note that the proposal is flawed because to intervene the new organisation will need the unanimous consent of all member states. Economy, trade and the fight against terrorism are also on the table of discussion.

    25/11/2004 LAOS
    ASEAN eyes European model

    28/02/2006 INDONESIA
    Hard to fight morphing terrorism in South-East Asia
    Indonesian President acknowledges how difficult it is to tackle terrorists' news tactics, organisation and technologies. Jemaah Islamiah, which operates in the region, is changing its structures:  relying on new independent cells, recruiting among young students from "Islamic study groups" and using women as couriers to smuggle explosives and weapons.

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