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Duterte, Mahathir agree to boost cooperation vs terrorism, drugs

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President Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have agreed to further strengthen the defense and security cooperation between the two countries.

This, after the two leaders renewed and reaffirmed the long standing brotherhood and friendship between two the Philippines and Malaysia, Malacanang on Monday said.

During Duterte’s meeting with Mahathir at the prime minister’s office in Putrajaya, the President emphasized the need to address terrorism and violent extremism in the region as well as the transnational crime such as piracy ​and illegal drugs.

“Both leaders stressed the importance of working closely together bilaterally and at the ASEAN to achieve shared aspirations of greater peace, progress and prosperity for the Philippines and Malaysia and greater stability and security in the region,” the Palace said in a statement.

Malaca​ñ​ang said the President was grateful to Mahathir’s invitation to visit Kuala Lumpur, which was extended by the Malaysian leader during last week’s phone conversation with Duterte, and discuss matters of mutual interest.

“Pres. Duterte expressed appreciation for Malaysia’s sustained support for the quest for just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao,” the Palace said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Malaysia has taken the role of being the observer and part of the International Monitoring Team overseeing the implementation of peace between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

It’s was a low-key event and was made only open to Malaysia official media, Roque said.

Immediately after the meeting, Duterte left for Manila and is expected to arrive in the evening.