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Jakarta Post

Island focus: TNI waits for joint agreement

  • The Jakarta Post

Balikpapan   /   Fri, July 1 2016   /  07:03 am

Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said that his side was ready to rescue seven seamen taken hostage by militants in the Philippines, pending an agreement between both countries to enable the military to enter the waters of the neighboring country.

Gatot told reporters at the Mulawarman Military Command (Kodam) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, on Wednesday night that the cooperation with related institutions in the Philippines was needed to rescue the crew members taken hostage by militants of Abu Sayyaf and Al Habbsy, a separatist group in the southern region of the Philippines.

Gatot said that constitutionally, the Philippines would not let a foreign military operate in its jurisdiction.

“We need an official cooperation between the Indonesian and Philippine governments should a military operation be needed to free the hostages,” he said....