Diplomacy key to resolving Indonesia-S'pore issues

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen practised amiable diplomacy when he met his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu and Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan ("Indonesian govt determined to resolve crisis: Eng Hen" and "Singapore 'respects Indonesia's sovereignty'"; both published on Sept 30).

Problems are never insurmountable when there is the shared desire to resolve them, whether it is the haze or airspace issues.

Singapore's good relations with Indonesia can be traced back to the time of former president Suharto, and continue with current President Joko Widodo.

The Indonesian military has had close links with ours since early 1968.

Close neighbours are bound to squabble and disagree on a few issues. However, the Asean spirit entails both Indonesia and Singapore overcoming such problems through dialogue.

As mentioned by Dr Ng, the offer of assistance to overcome the haze problem still stands, and should be seriously considered ("Offer to help Indonesia fight haze 'still stands'"; Sept 30).

Where the airspace issue is concerned, it could probably be resolved by both sides exercising some defence-military diplomacy.

Adrian Villanueva