PM Lee: Yudhoyono's apology "gracious" and Singapore accepts wholeheartedly

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore "wholeheartedly" accepts Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's apology for the haze, and welcomed his promise to spare no efforts in tackling the serious problem.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Lee said that Dr Yudhoyono's apology, made on Monday in a televised press conference, was gracious.

Referring to Dr Yudhoyono's pledge for the Indonesian police to take the necessary legal action against those responsible for the forest fires that have produced the haze, Mr Lee said that he hoped for "swift and sustained action."

He also reiterated Singapore's offer of assistance to Indonesia to put 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," he said.

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