Manado (Indonesia), Jul 29 (AFP) Indonesia and Australia on Saturday called for stronger cooperation in counter- terrorism as the region braces for the return of foreign militants fighting in the Middle East. Also Read - Certain Media Reporting in Pending Cases Forbidden, May Amount to Contempt: Attorney General to SC

In a one-day gathering in North Sulawesi of six nations including Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand and Brunei, ministers discussed terrorism in Southeast Asia and fears over IS unrest in the Philippines, where government forces are pitted against Islamist gunmen holed up in a southern city. Also Read - VK Malhotra Requests Sports Minister to Appoint Attorney General And Appeal Against NSFs De-Recognition Order

“Global terrorism is that lethal threat to all of our societies and with the collapse of the caliphate in the Middle East, the return of foreign terrorist fighters to our region and the increasing prevalence of cross border terorism… (the threat) is becoming more severe, not less,” Australian Attorney-General George Brandis told a post-meeting press conference. Also Read - Brunei's New Sharia Laws Mean a Person Could Face Death Penalty For Adultery or Gay Sex

Indonesian chief security minister Wiranto said the delegations had agreed to hold regular meetings to allow information to be shared and to establish a database of miliants to keep track of their movements.

“We will also push for a cooperation with companies that provide social media services as well as video sharing and messaging service,” Wiranto said.

Indonesia recently announced restrictions on the popular messaging app Telegram after claiming the platform had been used frequently by radicals to spread information and propaganda.

Parts of Southeast Asia have long struggled with Islamic militancy, with hundreds of radicals from the region flocking to join IS in Iraq and Syria. (AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.