Malaysian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Reezal Merican. (Source: nst.com.my)

Hanoi (VNA) – Senior officials from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines on May 26 held a technical meeting on developing a set of standard operating procedures (SOP) for coordinating patrols around the Sulu and Celebes Seas.

This is the first meeting implementing the contents of the Joint Statement agreed by the three countries on May 5 on coordinating sea patrols to resolve growing security challenges like pirates and kidnappings in sea waters bordering the three countries.

Building the SOP is one of the four contents of the Joint Statement. The three remaining contents include coordinating sea patrols in the Sulu and Celebes seas, providing immediate assistance to people and ships in distress in those seas, and establishing national coordinating agencies to facilitate the sharing of information and intelligence news.

A hotline will be set up to make coordination quick and timely in emergency cases and perceived security threats.

According to Malaysian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Reezal Merican, when completed, the SOP will ensure coordinating patrols among three countries will be implemented in the field.-VNA