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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  22 October 2010

Singapore wants to help douse Sumatra fires

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Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo called his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa on Friday morning to express Singapore's concern about the worsening haze situation.

A statement from the ministry said Mr. Yeo reiterated Singapore's immediate readiness to help Indonesia put out some of the fires in Sumatra.

His phone call came after Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim's phone call to his Indonesian counterpart Gusti Hatta on Thursday night.

Mr. Yeo informed Mr Marty that the PSI went over 100 on Thursday and cases of respiratory problems including asthma had increased significantly.

The statement added that Mr. Marty assured Mr. Yeo that Indonesia would address the haze problem, adding that many Indonesians in Sumatra are also affected.

The statement said both men agreed that bilateral cooperation had helped reduce the haze problem in the last three years and can ameliorate the current situation despite the dry weather.

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