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4-Nation Cooperation Must Be Expanded To Combat Piracy

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MELAKA – The cooperation between Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia in the Straits of Melaka must be expanded to curb piracy in their territorial waters.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said a single nation would not be able to effectively safeguard its maritime security.

“I discussed the matter with my Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu, and he, in principle, agreed. We will also discuss it with the other nations.

“We will also consider other ASEAN members being observers in the cooperation. To date, Vietnam and Myamar have agreed (to be observers). We may hold a mini summit to discuss ways to overcome piracy,” he told a press conference here, today.

Earlier, he opened the 15th Melaka International Youth Dialogue themed Youth and Armed Conflict : To Express Without fear, To Progress Without a Threat here, which was also attended by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

About 200 youths from 80 nations including the United States, Sudan, Bosnia, Germany and Malaysia were taking part in the three-day conference starting today.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin denied an allegation by the Indonesian media that Malaysian boats and aircraft had intruded into the Indonesian territorial waters and airspace at Ambalat on the east coast of Borneo.

“I also discussed with Ryamizard about this. He agreed that the issue should not be sensationalised by the media of Malaysia and Indonesia and also on the social sites,” he said.

He said the good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia since so long ago paved the way to overcome all issues taking place via discussions.

He said all parties involved must not be emotional when tackling such issues.

“This is our way in ASEAN (discussions and not following emotions) since long ago which have been really successful in curbing tensions between nations, while diplomatic channels between the foreign ministries of the affected nations must be continued,” he said. – BERNAMA


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