19/12/2021 01:17 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 -- Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah will be making official visits to Turkey from Monday and to India from Thursday. 

During his visit to Turkey from Dec 20-22, Saifuddin is scheduled to call on Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

 "Both ministers will discuss initiatives to strengthen bilateral cooperation and review regional and international developments,” said Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement today.

Saifuddin will also have engagements with the media, think tank and academia to promote peaceful coexistence and combat Islamophobia, in addition to engagements with humanitarian aid organisations in Turkey to discuss collaborations on international humanitarian aid and relief. 

The visit reflected the longstanding and strategic ties between the two countries, the statement said adding that it will afford the opportunity for both countries to explore joint initiatives in post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Turkey is an important economic and trade partner for Malaysia, with total bilateral trade for the period January to October 2021 registering an increase of 81.9 per cent to RM14.08 billion (US$3.40 billion) compared to RM7.74 billion (US$1.83 billion) for the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, on his visit to India from Dec 23-25, Saifuddin will be meeting his Indian counterpart Dr. S. Jaishankar to discuss important issues of common concern and mutual interest.

"The Honourable Minister and the republic’s Minister of External Affairs will be exploring new areas of strategic cooperation with India in the post-pandemic era.

"Issues of importance include cultural diplomacy, cyber security, defence, digital economy, health diplomacy, as well as trade and investment," said the statement.

The statement said the visit to India will build on the momentum of enhanced strategic partnership, signifying the close ties and the readiness by both sides to reinvigorate the relationship with a view to advancing a common desire towards global peace, progress and prosperity.

India is Malaysia’s largest trading partner in the South Asian region with a total annual trade surpassing US$15 billion for the past five years.

The visits to Turkey and India will be the first for Saifuddin since he returned to Foreign Minister’s post on Aug 30.


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