David Cameron, UK Prime Minister visits South-east Asia on Monday, in a trade and counter-terrorism agenda. The objective is to have new political alliances to cooperate in the fight against the Islamic State group and to seal $1.2 billion in trade deals.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by a small group of ministers, including Lord Maude, the former Cabinet Office minister, together with 30 British business leaders arrived on Indonesia as the first stop for the four-day trip to South-east Asia, before heading to Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.
“We’ve agreed to step up our joint efforts both to tackle the terrorist threat and to counter the extremist narrative,” the Prime Minister said in a statement with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace.
The UK and Indonesia have agreed measures to counter their so called “shared enemy”. Cameron will also be discussing with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak later in the trip, reports said.
PM Cameron promised that United Kingdom will help in increasing the airport security in Bali and Jakarta. 50 police officers from Indonesia will be given counter-terrorism training in the UK, he said.
Indonesia which has the world’s largest Muslim population has long struggled with extremism, fears that around 500 citizens have joined IS to the Middle East and 200 nationals from Malaysia which is also a Muslim-majority are believed to have also joined the extremists, according to reports.
Cameron said that the Islamic State is “one of the biggest threats our world has faced.” He thought Britain can offer expertise on practical counter-terrorism work, dealing with the threat from foreign fighters and investigating potential terrorist plots.
“We will only defeat these brutal terrorists if we take action at home, overseas and online and if we unite with countries around the world against this common enemy,” PM Cameron said.
Cameron is also aiming for a successful EU-ASEAN deal. He is the first British Prime Minister to visit the ASEAN Head Quarters in Jakarta, Indonesia and to push negotiations for a free trade agreement.