President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has initiated a joint patrol involving Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in response to 14 Indonesians held hostage in the Philippine waters.
“This week, we will invite the Malaysian military chief and foreign minister, and the Philippine military chief and foreign minister to discuss the possibility of a joint patrol to ensure that the sea lane is safe,” President Jokowi said at the State Palace here on Tuesday.
The president said the process of releasing the Indonesians held hostage by the armed group since a few weeks ago is not simple thing.
All sides must realize and understand that the hostage crisis is not an easy thing, he pointed out.
“We will find it hard. We must understand that the other cases which have lasted for six and eight months have not been resolved either. In fact, any of them has been executed. It is not that easy to underestimate a difficult thing as Philippine soldiers have cordoned off the area. As we all know that the hostages have been removed to other area. Has the act of removing the hostage caused difficulties to us?” he said.
After all, the president said he will never give up and keep trying to release the Indonesians held hostage.
Operations have been conducted at noon and night to ensure that the hostages will not lose contact with the Philippine government, he said.
“We hope that it can be resolved soon as I have stated,” he said. (PNA/Antara)
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