The Palm Scribe

Palm oil spat sours EU-ASEAN relations

The Jakarta Post, 23 January 2019

At the 22nd Meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and EU in Brussels on Monday (January 21), the EU and relevant ASEAN member states have agreed to form a joint working group to address issues relating to palm oil. Furthermore, Deputy Foreign Minister A.M. Fachir said mutual trust and respect could be translated into policies that advanced the common interests of ASEAN and the EU, including by stopping discriminatory policies on oil palm that are counter to the interests of the ASEAN community, especially Indonesia.

Foreign ministers still agree in principle to upgrade the EU’s official status to a new strategic dialogue partner but added that it was subject to details and timing to be worked out according to a joint statement issued after the meeting. According to unofficial minutes of a discussion among Indonesian officials obtained by “The Jakarta Post”, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries would delay the elevation of ASEAN-EU dialogue status, after it was originally scheduled for the Brussels meeting.

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