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South East Asia urged to cooperate to fight Muslim militants

South East Asia

South East Asia urged to cooperate to fight Muslim militants

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Credit: TOTO LOZANO/PPD

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has urged greater cooperation among South East Asian countries to battle Islamist militancy.

President Duterte is due to discuss the fight against terrorism at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional summit in Manilla on 13 November. But in the run-up to the conference he has insisted on setting an agenda which includes the fight against Islamic State throughout the world.

Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano also had this to say: “The defeat suffered by the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria, and the Philippines does not mean the fight is over.”

Duterte declared Marawi city liberated from terrorist influence on 17 October. This was after 5 months of fighting in which Christians were taken hostage, churches were torched and some Christian hostages reported that they were made to build bombs for Islamic State.

Cayetano said the Philippines, during the ASEAN summit, want to deepen and strengthen its cooperation with allies, by stepping up efforts to share intelligence, training and build resources, among others.