President Widodo reiterates importance of sea security in border areas

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President Widodo reiterates importance of sea security in border areas

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BOGOR, West Java, May 2 (PNA/ANTARA) — President Joko Widodo reiterated the importance of sea security in the border areas when announcing the release of 10 Indonesian ship crew members held hostage by Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines so far here on Sunday.

In view of that, a meeting relating to it would be held here on May 5 between Indonesia, Malaysian and Philippine foreign ministers and defense forces commanders.

At the end of April before the release of the 10 hostages, President Joko Widodo has initiated a joint patrol by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“This week we will invite military commanders and foreign ministers from the Philippines and Malaysia to meet here. We will set up a joint patrol to assure the shipping lane in the area is safe,” the President said.

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He said the process of releasing the 10 hostages who were abducted by an armed group in the Philippine waters some time ago was not a simple matter.

All parties must understand and know that the issue of hostage-taking was not a simple matter as efforts to release the hostages involved many parties including formal and informal ones, he said.

In view of that, President Joko Widodo expressed thanks and appreciation to all parties that have been involved in the efforts to release the hostages so far including the Philippine government.

Indonesia defense forces (TNI) commander General Gatot Nurmantyo said that efforts are still being taken to release four other Indonesian citizens that are still being held hostage by Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines.

“I ask for your prayers so they can also be released safely,” he said at the Presidential Palace after flanking President Joko Widodo at a press conference to announce the release of 10 Indonesian ship crew members.

General Nurmantyo said that efforts to release the four other hostages would also prioritize safety of the hostages. (PNA)

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