David Cameron pledges to combat ‘shared enemy’ IS

David Cameron is greeted by Indonesian president Joko Widodo in Jakarta. Picture: AP
David Cameron is greeted by Indonesian president Joko Widodo in Jakarta. Picture: AP
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David Cameron and Indonesian president Joko Widodo have agreed a package of measures to counter the “shared enemy” of Islamic State (IS) 

The Prime Minister promised British help to increase security at airports in Bali and Jakarta, and around 50 Indonesian police officers will be trained in counter-terrorism techniques in the UK.

Speaking at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Mr Cameron said IS was an “evil threat” faced by both nations.

His comments came after he indicated he could take military action against IS in Libya or Syria if there was an imminent threat to British lives.

Fears have grown in recent weeks about IS’s activities in Libya following reports that Seifeddine Rezgui, the gunman who carried out the Tunisian beach resort massacre, trained at a terror camp in the country.

The Prime Minister indicated he wanted to work with allies to establish a stable government in Libya. “We should be working and are working with other partners to help the new Libyan government. That’s helping with advice and support and capacity-building in their government departments,” he said.

“The problem in Libya has been they haven’t had a government that has been able to deliver, and that should be our focus. That is why, for instance, we tried helping with training military personnel, so we should go on doing all of these things.”

Although a military campaign against IS targets in Libya is not being proposed by the UK, Mr Cameron indicated he would be prepared to act if it was necessary in an emergency.

He said that “if there is a threat to Britain, to our people, our streets, and we are able to stop it by taking immediate action against that threat – I’m the British Prime Minister, I would always want to try and take that action and that’s the case whether that problem is emanating from Libya, from Syria or anywhere else”.

Mr Cameron told reporters accompanying him on his tour of south-east Asia: “What I have said with respect to Libya, or indeed anywhere else, is if there is a plot under way where I believe British citizens are in danger of being targeted, if it’s possible to take action to stop that, I would.

“That is legal, that is right, that is proper and that’s the role of the Prime Minister.”

The threat posed by IS will be also be discussed later in Mr Cameron’s tour of south-east Asia, with Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak amid fears the group is seeking to establish a stronghold in the region.

IS and other terror groups have been pumping out propaganda in local languages and their support is thought to be growing.

Around 500 people from Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, are thought to have joined IS in Iraq and Syria.

There are also fears about the release of Islamist terrorists locked up in Indonesia following the Bali bombing.

The main focus of Mr Cameron’s four-day tour of Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia will be on boosting trade links.