JEDDAH, March 25 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Kuala Lumpur is open to restarting talks on building the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) in Malaysia.
Anwar said he did not agree with the way the centre’s operations were shut down earlier as it was done without consultation with the Saudi Arabian government.
“Any government has the right to or can propose its closure. But with our friend (Saudi Arabia) there should have been consultations, notices and discussions. Apparently, this was not done.
“So I cannot defend the hasty way of ending the initiative without discussing with the parties involved,” he told a press conference here on Friday (March 24), at the end of his three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Anwar was asked whether his government planned to revive the proposal to construct a permanent KSCIP building in Putrajaya.
KSCIP was first proposed after the visit of Saudi monarch King Salman Abdul Aziz Al-Saud to Malaysia in March 2017 and the participation of then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a summit in Riyadh, which was attended by then-US President Donald Trump as well.
Anwar said he had personally informed Saudi leaders and their representatives earlier that he did not support the action of ending the initiative.
“Should they revive it? We are open to discussions, setting the appropriate regulations and method,” he added.
Anwar and his delegation departed for Kuala Lumpur from the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport at 12.30am local time Saturday (5.30am in Malaysia).
The Prime Minister is scheduled to make a one-day official visit to Cambodia on Monday (March 27).