Govt Invites Six Nations to Security Talks

CEBU, Philippines ~ Indonesia, which has been rocked by a series of deadly bombings in recent years, has invited six other nations to a special meeting in March on fighting terrorism, officials said on Thursday.

A diplomatic source named the six as Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, whose country is hosting this week’s ASEAN summit and associated meetings, announced the Jakarta initiative on Wednesday night but did not identify all the countries involved.

Saturday’s summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is due to sign a landmark convention on counterterrorism.

“Indonesia has taken the lead in inviting six nations to a meeting of intelligence, military and other agencies involved in counter-terrorism to a meeting in Jakarta in March,” Romulo said.

“We are all attending that meeting precisely to look at how we can implement and carry out the convention on counter-terrorism.”

Attorney generals and security advisers are expected to attend.

Three explosions in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Wednesday killed seven people but Manila insisted the regional summit would go ahead.

ASEAN’s convention would allow for a regional extradition treaty as well as intelligence sharing to make it easier to track suspicious people and money.

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