Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has reaffirmed Indonesia's commitment to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City in the Southern Philippines, which was devastated in a five-month-long armed conflict between government forces and Islamic militants.
"Indonesia is still waiting for the Philippine government to identify what is required in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts," Retno said during a trilateral meeting between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in Manila on Sunday (12/11).
The Philippine government wrapped up combat operations in Marawi on Oct. 23, following the conflict that left more than 1,100 people dead and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes.
The conflict raised concern in both Indonesia and Malaysia, who feared that militants could flee the fighting to nearby North Maluku in Indonesia and Sabah in Malaysia.
During the previous trilateral meeting in June as a subregional response to the conflict, the three countries agreed to cooperate on the joint development and implementation of counterterrorism measures and strategies.
"The Philippines' success in freeing Marawi City is important for our region, because it sends a strong message about our power to tackle terrorism and extremism through cooperation," Retno said.
She emphasized the importance of the reconstruction and rehabilitation process to also be carried out through cooperation, including through the trilateral mechanism.
Retno also expressed Indonesia's readiness to support the education and deradicalization process in Marawi, including by providing scholarships to students from the city and supporting the development of a religious education curriculum.
Sunday's meeting also saw Indonesia present a draft plan of action, along with a road map that includes short-, medium- and long-term activities for future trilateral cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, further discussion on the plan will be conducted during the next trilateral meeting, set to take place in Indonesia early next year.