NAYPYITAW — The Union Parliament on Monday approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that aims to strengthen the ASEAN-Australia Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism.
Five lawmakers discussed in favor of President U Htin Kyaw’s proposal to sign the MoU, which called for increased collaboration between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia against shared challenges of terrorism and violent extremism.
Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe said the signing of the MoU will allow for the exchange of information on terrorists and help Myanmar acquire technical support from Australia in tracking the activities of terrorist organizations and their background history.
“Myanmar will therefore be able to take a more active role in counter-terrorism activates not only in the region but also on the international front,” said Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe.
“I recommend the signing of the MOU because it is in line with the new government’s policy,” said U Zarni Min, a lawmaker from Kachin State’s Shwegu Township.
Daw Htoot May of Rakhine Constituency (11) said, “Foreign extremist organizations are funding and supporting the perpetuation of violence in Rakhine State. There is a need for Myanmar to cooperate with the international community to address this as well as the potential threat of terrorism in the future.”
The declaration aims to formulate a framework for cooperation to prevent, disrupt and combat international terrorism through the exchange and flow of information and intelligence, as well as capacity building.
Meanwhile, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi will pay an official to visit Australia in days at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. She will also attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit to be held in Sydney on March 17-18.
A business summit and counter-terrorism conference will also be held on the sidelines of the special summit. Minister for the Office of the Union Government and National Security Adviser U Thaung Tun will lead Myanmar’s delegation to the counter-terrorism conference.
Myanmar enacted laws and rules on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in 2014 and 2015 and is a signatory to 13 United Nations conventions on terrorism, according to state-run newspapers.