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Monday, 19 March 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

‘Better teamwork beats terror’

SYDNEY: The Asean-Australia Special Summit has proposed that counter terrorism cooperation with Australia be taken to the next level, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said with the terror threat able to cross borders, certain information which might not be important to one country could be useful and even vital to another.

“Just like solving a jigsaw puzzle, it is possible that the important piece of information is found in another country,” he told Malaysian journalists as he wrapped up his visit to attend the two-day summit here.

He said topics related to the terror threat and violent terrorism were among the main topics at the special summit.

Najib said restrictions on terrorist funds must also be stepped up so that such groups would be starved of finance.

The PM said in countering terrorism, it was important to ensure that terror groups like the Islamic State would not get new recruits.

“Right now, they still manage to influence certain individuals, and that means the tap is still flowing in terms of new recruits.

“I have informed the summit that our deradicalisation programme has succeeded in achieving a rehabilitation rate of 97%,” he revealed.

Najib said the special summit also accepted the Sydney Declaration, which also covered economic cooperation.

“We welcome Australia’s role in helping Asean achieve its Economic Community target by 2025 and the multiple-level Strategic Plan, in which Australia is to provide funding, apart from Asean Connectivity,” he said.

At the Leaders’ Retreat, Najib said they also discussed strategic issues, such as the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and the Rohingya issue in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

“I was asked to lead the discussion on nuclear issues in North Korea and the possible scenario, as well as the latest development relating to the planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“Our stand is consistent and we want North Korea to stop its nuclear and ballistic missiles programme, and we also want the Korean Peninsular denuclearised, hopefully through peaceful negotiation,” he said.

On the success achieved at the summit, Najib said Australia recognised Asean as an important organisation which had succeeded in promoting regional peace and stability. — Bernama