Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Photo:Internet)
Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo is expected to hold talks with military chiefs and foreign ministers from the Philippines and Malaysia this week on maritime security.

The talks follow the kidnapping of Malaysians and Indonesians at sea by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the waters of the Philippines.

The Indonesian President on April 26 said that the meeting will focus on efforts to implement joint patrols to secure the international maritime route from Hong Kong (China) to the south which passes through Indonesia’s waters.

To avoid further kidnappings, the Indonesian transport ministry has allowed provincial authorities to temporarily bar ships from passing.

Earlier, Indonesian Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan announced that Indonesia will set up a crisis centre comprising senior ministers and military and police chiefs.

The centre will be designed to respond quickly to situations that could have a "strategic impact".

Up to 18 Indonesians and Malaysians have been kidnapped in three attacks on tugboats in recent weeks in Philippine waters by groups suspected to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf group.-VNA