Singapore should help solve haze issue, not just talk about it: Indonesia VP

Singapore should help solve haze issue, not just talk about it: Indonesia VP

The Indonesian government welcomed any country, including Singapore, that wanted to help extinguish forest and land fires in the country to remove the haze, said Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

"Go ahead, we are open. Singapore can come and see for themselves if they want to help. Don't just talk [about it]," said Kalla on Sunday in New York, United States, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Previously, Singapore expressed frustration with Indonesia regarding the smog that has affected the country.

Kalla said that the Indonesian government had worked hard to eliminate the fires but it was difficult to do in a short time.

"The problem is, in addition to the hot weather, the fires in Indonesia are worsened by the wind," said Kalla.

He mentioned the forest fires in California as an example of a similar incident that was hard to extinguish in a short time.

"We have done all that we can do. Since it has affected other countries, if they want to help, then go ahead," said Kalla.

Separately, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said she had communicated with Singapore's foreign minister to explain the steps that had been taken by the Indonesian government.

"Indonesia is very serious about solving the issue and the efforts include law enforcement and education," said Retno.

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