Asia

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines agree to boost sea security

  • From left to right, Indonesian Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, his Malaysian counterpart Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, her Filipino counterpart Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras, and the Philippine's Navy Chief Rear Adm. Caesar C. Taccad, confer as they prepare for a group photo before the start of their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues at the presidential palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 5, 2016. The gathering was held following the kidnappings of Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen by Abu Sayyaf militants in the waters off southern Philippines where Indonesia share borders with the two countries. (AP Photo/Rana Dyandra)

    From left to right, Indonesian Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, his Malaysian counterpart Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, her Filipino counterpart Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras, and the Philippine's Navy Chief Rear Adm. Caesar C. Taccad, confer as they prepare for a group photo before the start of their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues at the presidential palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 5, 2016. The gathering was held following the kidnappings of Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen by Abu Sayyaf militants in the waters off southern Philippines where Indonesia share borders with the two countries. (AP Photo/Rana Dyandra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, talks with, from left to right, Philippine's Navy Chief Rear Adm. Caesar C. Taccad, Philippine's Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras, Malaysia's Armed Forces Chief Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo and State Secretary Minister Pratikno during their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues at the presidential palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 5, 2016. The gathering was held following the kidnappings of Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen by Abu Sayyaf militants in the waters off southern Philippines where Indonesia share borders with the two countries. (AP Photo/Rana Dyandra)

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, talks with, from left to right, Philippine's Navy Chief Rear Adm. Caesar C. Taccad, Philippine's Foreign Minister Jose Rene Almendras, Malaysia's Armed Forces Chief Gen. Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo and State Secretary Minister Pratikno during their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues at the presidential palace in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 5, 2016. The gathering was held following the kidnappings of Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen by Abu Sayyaf militants in the waters off southern Philippines where Indonesia share borders with the two countries. (AP Photo/Rana Dyandra)  (The Associated Press)

Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines have agreed to run coordinated patrols to boost maritime security following the kidnappings at sea of Indonesians by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants.

Foreign ministers and military chiefs of the three countries held talks Thursday in Indonesia's ancient city of Yogyakarta, hashing out the details of join patrols to protect shipping in the waters between their border areas.

Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi said the threat from robbery, kidnapping and other transnational crime, if not addressed appropriately, can undermine the confidence in trade and commerce in the region.

Abu Sayyaf militants on Sunday freed 10 of 14 Indonesian crewmen who were seized at sea in March in the first of three attacks on tugboats that have sparked a regional maritime security alarm.