Malaysian Prime Minister Thanks Jokowi for Indonesia Haze-Tackling Efforts

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The April 4 resolution seeks to establish a common EU standard to boost efforts to stop palm oil from becoming the cause of deforestation or exploitation of communities in producing countries and phase out usage of vegetable oils that harm the environment, according to a European parliament statement.

Attending the 12th Malaysia -Indonesia annual consultative meeting on Wednesday, Najib and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in a joint press conference, said both countries concur that the policy by European Union is unfair to farmers in Malaysia and Indonesia and should not be continued.

"The policy will have adverse implications, affecting 600,000 smallholder families in Malaysia and, I was told, affecting 17 million smallholder families in Indonesia", he said.

"I've been informed by Jokowi that there will be a meeting with European Union representatives in Jakarta in the next few days and we will be sending our representative to the meeting".

Indonesia has started exporting rice to Malaysia from October this year, totaling 25 thousand tons.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said Indonesia has sought 20 percent of Malaysia's rice import quota.

Earlier, Najib and Jokowi witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the cooperation for Islamic higher education between Malaysia and Indonesia, which was signed by Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh representing Malaysia while Indonesia was presented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi.

Other border-related matters that were agreed on include the speeding up of the formalisation of the Border Crossing Agreement, which would open up the Sarawak border town of Tebedu and Indonesia's Entikong for cross-border trade and allow for a study to be conducted on the setting up of a free trade zone there for small and medium enterprises. "The increase in the number of joint posts will strengthen security and safety along the border and help in the prevention of transboundary crime", said Mr Widodo. Currently, Sabah has 68 and Sarawak 10. The defence ministry of both countries would discuss the number of border posts. "This is in line with the Heart of Borneo initiative involving Indonesia, Malaysia and also Brunei".

Najib said both countries agree to resolve long-standing disputes on Sulawesi sea and other areas.

He said he was heartened by the promise made by Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi at the recent Asean Summit in Manila, which showed that she was committed to finding a solution to the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state.

As Myanmar government reaches consensus with Bangladeshi government on Rohingya Muslim issue, both Malaysia and Indonesia reacted in a positive manner. "This issue does not only affect Malaysians and Indonesians but the global attention".

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