First trilateral meeting on transboundary haze in Jakarta

Teo Chia Leen Channel NewsAsia 27 Jul 13;

JAKARTA: The first trilateral meeting on transboundary haze among senior officials of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore has taken place in Jakarta.

Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said its Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong led an inter-agency delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, National Environment Agency and Attorney General's Chambers to the meeting.

During the meeting, Mr Chee noted that the meeting was a follow-up to the agreement by the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore on the sidelines of the 46th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Brunei last month.

The meeting was what Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam had earlier referred to as the Trilateral Cooperative Process. This process is not meant to duplicate existing platforms for environmental cooperation such as the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

It will act as an additional channel for the three countries to complement and enhance their collaboration and work.

At the meeting, the officials received an update on Indonesia's efforts to address the fires that caused the haze, and considered future areas for cooperation.

Singapore and Malaysia acknowledged Indonesia's ongoing efforts to combat the haze, including the mobilisation of national resources to tackle the issue.

The senior officials agreed to provide an update on their discussions to their foreign ministers on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Hua Hin from 13-14 August 2013, before the ministers report to the countries' leaders at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in October 2013.

- CNA/al

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