Widodo reaffirms Indonesian support vs terror in phone call to Duterte

June 22, 2017 - 1:12 PM
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Presidents Rodrigo Duterte and Joko Widodo of Indonesia are seen together in a Reuters file photo. Concerns have risen in Indonesia that the Widodo government's war on drugs may be taking a leaf from Duterte's vaunted campaign that has left thousands dead.

MANILA, Philippines — Indonesian President Joko Widodo reaffirmed his country’s commitment to support Philippine efforts to stamp out terrorism and restore peace in Mindanao, Malacañang said Thursday.

Widodo’s made his assurance in a phone call to President Rodrigo Duterte around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

He described the conversation as “meaningful and productive.”

“President Widodo reaffirmed Indonesia’s commitment to support the Philippines in countering terrorism including restoring peace and stability in the southern Philippines,” Abella said.

Both leaders “both reaffirmed the need to step up cooperation to address threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism,” he added.

Aside from these, they also agreed on the importance of the trilateral meeting between their countries and Malaysia in Manila on Thursday that seeks to come up with measures to address the entry of foreign fighters, including Indonesians and Malaysians, into the Philippines.

Security officials say a number of foreign fighters, including some from Yemen and Chechnya, had joined gunmen from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups who have been battling government forces in Marawi for a month now.