- Title: Philippines, Malaysia agree to cooperate to tackle piracy and kidnappings
- Date: 10th November 2016
- Summary: PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA (NOVEMBER 10, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF MALAYSIA PRIME MINISTER OFFICE COMPLEX HONOUR GUARDS MARCHING VARIOUS OF HONOUR GUARDS STANDING
- Embargoed: 25th November 2016 13:23
- Keywords: Malaysia Philippines maritime boundaries Razak Duterte
- Location: PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA
- City: PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA
- Country: Malaysia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00157V3PS5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Philippines on Thursday (November 10) agreed to allow Malaysia and Indonesia to carry out "hot pursuits" in its territorial waters, as they look to combat kidnappings and piracy by Islamist Abu Sayyaf rebels.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Najib Razak after a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is on a two-day visit to Malaysia.
"If we're chasing the bad guys, for example, and we reach the international maritime boundaries with the Philippines, if we were to stop, the bad guys will get away. So we must continue pursuing them and if possible, interdict them," Najib said at the news conference.
"But the moment we reach the international maritime boundaries with the Philippines, we have to inform the Philippine navy, they will be informed that we are entering Filipino waters and they will also try to be assisting us," he added.
He said the agreement would be further discussed at a meeting between the three countries on November 22 in Vientiane, Laos.
Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaeda known for kidnappings and beheadings, have been intercepting slow-moving tugboats in waters near the borders of Malaysia and the Philippines, taking captive more than a dozen Indonesian and Malaysian sailors.
Several hostages have been freed, after paying ransom to the Abu Sayyaf including of two Canadians this year.
The region around Indonesia's borders with Malaysia and the Philippines, a major sea lane and fishing area, has seen a spate of kidnappings by gunmen and Islamist militants in recent months.
On Monday (November 7), the Philippine military said a German national was believed to be the latest person to be taken hostage. His companion, a woman, was found dead on a yacht abandoned on a remote island in the Sulu archipelago, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold.
The Abu Sayyaf is holding another 15 captives, including a Netherlands citizen, five Malaysians, two Indonesians and seven Filipinos.
The two leaders have also agreed on the terms of deportations of illegal immigrants from Malaysia to the Philippines.
"We agreed that the deportations of (Filipino) illegal immigrants will be carried out in stages. We have around 7,000 illegal immigrants in our detention centres and we will send them back in stages, and President Duterte has agreed for this to be carried out," he said.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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