Indonesia, Australia agree to enhance intelligence, counterterrorism cooperation
Marguerite Afra Sapiie The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Thu, June 9 2016 | 10:49 am
Jakarta and Canberra have agreed to enhance counterterrorism cooperation following a meeting in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday.
The "Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security" is a follow-up to the first meeting of the same name held in December 2015 in Indonesia, where delegations from both countries discussed ways they could coordinate to address international security threats.
Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the head of Indonesian delegation, said the meeting was fruitful, particularly in addressing terrorism threats and capacity enhancement for specific programs.
"The meeting is important for both countries to assess the gainful achievements over the year [of cooperation]," Luhut said in a statement.
As in the previous year, a number of security and law issues such counterterrorism measures, cyber security, and intelligence sharing operations were the focus of the meeting.
National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti, National Counterterrorism Agency ( BNPT ) chief Comr. Gen. Tito Karnavian and the Law and Human Rights Ministry's director general of immigration, Ronny F. Sompie, were among the Indonesian delegation.
At the meeting Luhut shared Indonesia's success in mapping the global terrorist group Islamic State’s ( IS ) movements in Southeast Asia, where the group intends to establish a caliphate.
Information sharing with Australia regarding the matter was ongoing, Luhut said, adding that he was optimistic about the capability of both countries to tackle the issue.
Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the enhancement of cooperation was important as Indonesia and Australia faced the same threats from the Middle East-based terrorist groups that had also attacked their allies abroad.
"This [cooperation] is also our chance to learn about law enforcement as well as intelligence sharing, and we will continue to collaborate," Keenan said.
Meanwhile, Australian Attorney-General Senator George Brandis, who chaired the country's delegation alongside Keenan, asserted that both countries were committed to combating terrorism financing, deradicalization, as well as cyber security.
In addition, taking the cooperation to the next level would serve both Jakarta and Canberra's interests in improving measures to prevent terror attacks in their own territories, Brandis said.
In relation to a transfer of funds from Australia to Indonesia allegedly used to finance terrorist groups, Luhut said officials of both governments were now in the process of investigating the matter.
Both delegations said the second meeting had once again resulted in concrete outcomes. ( dmr )