(File pix) The Philippines gave its assurance to Malaysia that it will take all necessary measures to secure the release of four Malaysians sailors who had been kidnapped by Filipino gunmen in waters off Sabah.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Philippines gave its assurance to Malaysia that it will take all necessary measures to secure the release of four Malaysians sailors who had been kidnapped by Filipino gunmen in waters off Sabah.

This was said during a working visit by Foreign Affair Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman to the republic from Wednesday to today.

During the visit, Anifah met his Philippine counterpart, secretary of foreign affairs Jose Rene D. Almendras yesterday, where he reaffirmed the close bilateral relations between the two countries.

In a statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Anifah also stressed on the importance to intensify cooperation between the two countries towards securing the release of the four Malaysians.

The two ministers also exchanged view on regional issues including on the issue of the South China Sea.

The four Malaysians — Wong Teck Kang, 31, Wong Hung Sing, 34, Wong Teck Chii, 29 and Johnny Lau Jung Hien, 21 — were kidnapped on April 1 when their tugboat was hijacked by eight gunmen believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf militant group.