Indonesian President Widodo calls Duterte to discuss Marawi crisis, says Palace

Product of improved international ties, maybe?

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Days before month-long Marawi City crisis, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had called President Rodrigo Duterte over the phone to reaffirm Indonesia's commitment to the Philippines as extremists to continue to pound a southern Philippines City.

According to a Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella during a press conference, Widodo called Duterte on June 21 around 7:30 in the evening to reiterate Indonesia's commitment to help the Philippines in fighting with and restoring peace and stability in the southern part of the country.

Abella added both of the leaders expressed the need to step up and address threats posted by terrorism and violent extremism in the region.

The Filipino and Indonesian leaders also noted the importance of the trilateral meeting with Malaysia that will happen in Manila on June 22, Abella said.

The Indonesian foreign ministry announced on Tuesday said foreign ministers and security officials of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines will meet in Manila to discuss the ongoing crisis in Marawi City and its impact on the region.

Duterte told reporters in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday that he would ask “many questions” to Widodo during their phone call as apparently, many foreign fighters allegedly on the ground with local terror groups in Marawi City were from Indonesia.

The emergence of groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seems to have become the biggest security problem to face the year-old Duterte administration.

Source: ABS-CBN