KUALA LUMPUR: “France is in favour of no ban and no discrimination against palm oil, at national and at the European Union (EU) level,” said Minister for the Armed Forces of France, Florence Parly here today.
She added: “we want to work together with the producing countries to encourage sustainability in this sector, to the benefit of all sides and in the spirit of full dialogue and cooperation. Malaysia can count on France on this issue.”
Florence said that at a joint press conference with the Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein after attending the 4th Malaysia-France Defence Joint High Strategic Committee (DJHSC) meeting held at Wisma Perwira here today.
She was responding to the proposal by the European Union (EU) to ban palm oil biofuels by 2020. This is following the resolution of the EU Parliament on January 17, through Renewable Energy Directive, which requires only sustainably produced palm oil can be imported into EU market after 2020.
Florence also mentioned that the annual DJHSC meeting is unique for France in South East Asia.
She said the meeting shared concerns regarding the threats to global order, terrorism, and challenges to international law of the sea and cyber defence.
Florence also emphasized the recent antisubmarine warfare exercise conducted by the French destroyer “Auvergne” and the Malaysian submarine “KD Tun Razak” had demonstrated not only the exceptional skills and professionalism of the Royal Malaysian Navy but also the high cooperation between the two Navies.
“Malaysia is our only partner in the region with which we conduct such exercises for the time being. This exercise was held twice in the past two years,” she said.
Florence added Malaysia is one of the major defence industry partners in the region, referring to the submarine cooperation and the A400M aircraft programme, EC725 helicopter programme and many others.
The DJHSC meeting held since 2014 was chaired by Hishammuddin and co-chaired by Florence.
The two ministers also touched on a broad spectrum of issues of strategic importance and operational interest to both countries.
Both Ministers were also briefed by the Working Groups on the progress of their cooperation since they met at the 3rd DJHC meeting in Paris, France on 5th October 2016 and agreed the positive momentum should be maintained.
Meanwhile, the joint statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) also stated, the meeting discussed potential collaboration between Malaysia’s Science, Technology Research Institute of Defence (STRIDE) and its French counterpart, the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on the tropicalisation of military equipment.
The statement also said, in the Education and Training Working Group, new courses have been introduced at the National Defence University (UPNM) in cooperation with French institutes as part of the offset programme such as the MSc in Aeronautical Engineering, MSc in Maritime Engineering and Masters in Information Security.
Prior to the meeting, Florence Parly had an audience with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Florence also visited the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Subang Air Base and witnessed a static demonstration of Malaysia’s A400M transport aircraft. –@Malaysia World News (malaysiaworldnews.com)