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PHILIPPINES TO BE A KEY RECIPIENT OF AUSTRALIA’S NEW REGIONAL COUNTER-TERRORISM PACKAGEThe Australian Government committed this week (9 May) an additional $92.6 million over the next four years to boost the capacity of regional countries, including the Philippines, to combat the continuing and evolving threat of terrorism.
The new measures, which were announced in Australia’s 2006-07 Budget, will build on existing regional cooperation in law enforcement, intelligence and border control. Details of the regional package can be found in the 9 May media release of Australia’s Foreign Minister, the Hon Alexander Downer MP, at www.foreignminister.gov.au.
In the Philippines, Australia’s regional counter-terrorism package may translate into:
- increased basic investigative and specialist law enforcement training and further specialist forensic and technical training by the Australian Federal Police;
- increased information-sharing and exchange of expertise on border control issues, including support for the Regional Movement Alert List system initiative endorsed by APEC leaders in 2005 to promote mutual access to passport database systems;
- collaborative efforts to strengthen regional controls on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials; and
- activities that promote tolerance and counteract terrorist propaganda.
Australia values the close and mutually beneficial cooperation between Australia and the Philippines in combating terrorism, particularly the partnerships between our police and defence forces.
These measures are a further manifestation of Australia’s long-term commitment to peace and development in the Philippines.