Philippine soldiers wave as they travel their way back from their combat duty against pro-Islamic State militants in Marawi City, the Philippines. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines held an informal meeting on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila on November 12 to discuss measures to prevent the return of extremists who attacked the southern Philippine city of Marawi.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Philippine FM Alan Peter Cayetano and their Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman agreed to adopt on a joint action plan on counter-terrorism in a meeting scheduled to take place in Indonesia in January 2018.

One important aspect of the plan is to address the roots of extremism, such as poverty, drug trafficking, crimes and social inequality. The plan also focuses on counter-terrorism measures, including stopping the flow of terrorism financing, improving intelligence-sharing, and preventing pro-terrorism content in cyberspace.

The ministers also consented to apply Indonesia’s religious training programme in schools for Islamic people in Marawi city, which had been occupied by pro-IS militants this year

The Philippine armed forces have liberated Marawi after the five-month clashes against the extremists, which claimed 1,100 lives and made about 400,000 others leave their homes.-VNA