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Indonesia, Britain to step up efforts to fight Islamic State

Jakarta: Indonesia and Britain agreed today to step up joint efforts to fight terrorism and the Islamic State group.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said after meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on that both countries are concerned about the threat from the Islamic State militants.

At the start of his two-day visit to the country, Cameron also promised to help provide a package of counter-terrorism support that includes beefing up security at airports in Jakarta and Bali.

He added that around 50 Indonesia’s counter-terrorism officers would be trained in the United Kingdom.

“We have agreed to step up our joint efforts both to tackle the terrorist threat and to counter the extremist narrative,” the British premier told a joint news conference.

He said Britain would seek to learn from Indonesia’s approach to countering extremism, with an exchange programs between religious and community leaders in Indonesia and the United Kingdom to foster a better understanding of what work.

“ISIL is a shared enemy and it is right we share our expertise by uniting together we can better protect our country from this evil threat,” Cameron said.

An estimated 500 Indonesians have reportedly joined the Islamic State group.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation with a secular central government, has been battling terrorists since 2002, when militants linked to the Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiyah attacked nightclubs in Bali, killing 202 people, mostly tourists.

Cameron is scheduled to attend a business forum and meet with religious leaders Tuesday before leaving for Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.