The Jakarta Post
The government's crisis center team was scheduled to hold a meeting on Friday evening to take further actions to release seven kidnapped Indonesian sailors in Philippine waters, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Thursday.
"We will discuss and determine further measures to secure the release of seven Indonesian sailors held hostage [by Filipino militants]," Luhut told journalists at his office.
The meeting would be held following the return of Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi from the Philippines, where she met with her new counterpart Perfecto Yasay following the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration on Thursday.
The crisis center comprised of top officials like Luhut, Retno, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Sutiyoso and National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti.
It was established to identify the perpetrators and the location where the hostages were kept, as well as to investigate connections between the latest kidnapping and previous incidents, Luhut recently said.
The kidnapping of seven Indonesian sailors on June 20 is the third such incident this year, which has prompted the government to beef up its security cooperation with the Philippines, namely allowing Indonesia to join security operations with Filipino military personnel should another hostage-taking incident occur in the future. (rin)
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