In a press statement at the presidential palace here on Tuesday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said after a meeting with Singapore`s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that Singapore had given a positive response to the proposal.
"Legal cooperation is needed so that collaboration against trans-national crimes such as terrorism and others will be effective. We also raised the issue so that we could seriously continue increasing cooperation, including in the field of law enforcement so that our assets reported to have been taken abroad can be recovered. We will cooperate with all countries concerned and promote the association so that it is more effective," he said.
In 2009, President Yudhoyono said the two countries had discussed the agreement, but they disagreed on some issues and it could not be signed so the talks had come to a halt.
"I conveyed (at the meeting with the Singaporean prime minister) that it is time to discuss the agreement again in good will and with good intentions. The response from Singapore has been good. I hope it can be completed with strong political support so that our goal is achieved," he said.
President Yudhoyono noted that even without the agreement law enforcement efforts were carried out, including the handling of terrorism.
"(The discussion) was carried out within the framework of fighting corruption and it was mentioned that we had assets (kept in Singapore) that need to be brought back. Let us work on it with a clear mind," he said.
President Yudhoyono said he believed that with its clean reputation Singapore was serious about its desire to return to the negotiation table to discuss the extradition agreement.
"In 2009 Singapore had said it was not yet ready. In principle we have been actively appealing for its settlement. In today`s meeting we have seen a positive response. Negotiators should be given the opportunity to carry out their tasks so that obstacles are overcome," he said.
President Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met at the Bogor presidential palace for an annual consultation meeting on the two countries` cooperation.
They discussed the development of the cooperation and collaborative opportunities as well as problems being faced.
At the meeting, which lasted from 11 am to around 1 pm, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was accompanied by Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang, Defense Minister Ng Eng hen, Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, Development affairs Minister Chan Chun Sing and State Minister for Information, Communication, Arts cum Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu.
President Yudhoyono was flanked by Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for Economic affairs Hatta Rajasa, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Industry Minister MS Hidayat, Defense Forces Commander Admiral Agus Suhartono, National Police Chief General Timur Pradopo and several other high-ranking officials.(*)