PM Lee welcomes Indonesian president's apology

PM Lee welcomes Indonesian president's apology

SINGAPORE - In response to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's apology to the people of Singapore and Malaysia for the haze and his comments underscoring his resolve to fight the forest fires, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore accepts his apology wholeheartedly.

"It was gracious of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to apologise to the people of Singapore and Malaysia for the current haze situation. We accept his apology wholeheartedly. I welcome President Yudhoyono's promise to spare no efforts to tackle this serious problem which has caused suffering to the people of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia," he said in a statement to the media.

"President Yudhoyono stated that the Indonesian Police would investigate the man-made causes of the fires and take the necessary legal action against those responsible.

"I hope that Indonesia will also take swift and sustained action to put out the forest fires and stop the illegal land clearing practices.

"I would also like to reiterate Singapore's offer of assistance to Indonesia in putting out the fires. Singapore stands ready to work closely with Indonesia, Malaysia and others in the region to bring to an end the haze-related problems which have plagued our region.

"We need to put in place a permanent solution to prevent this problem from recurring annually."

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