Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (centre) speaking to dignitaries as he departs from Saudi Arabia, following his three-day official visit to the kingdom, on March 25, 2023. — Picture by SADIQ ASYRAF/PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE OF MALAYSIA

Saudi Arabia key country for Malaysia in Middle East — PM Anwar

JEDDAH, March 25 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim concluded a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday (March 24), and said he considers Saudi Arabia a key country for Malaysia in the Middle East.

The visit to the kingdom was his first official visit outside the Asean region, since his appointment as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister in November last year.

Speaking at a press conference, Anwar said he appreciated getting the invitation to visit in a short time from the Saudi Arabian government (after his appointment as the prime minister).

Malaysia enjoyed excellent relations with Saudi Arabia, including in business matters, banking and Islamic activities.

The Prime Minister said he wished to step up the ties with the kingdom.

He expressed the hope that this good relationship can enable Malaysia to benefit from some of Saudi Arabia’s new initiatives driven by Vision 2030 introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

During the visit, Anwar, accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil, among others, had a meeting with the Saudi Arabian business community at the headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank here.

The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha, and the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, called on Anwar.

He also witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding between private companies in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister and members of his delegation also performed the umrah and met with Malaysians residing in Jeddah, Mekah and Madinah for iftar (breaking of fast).

Anwar said the Saudi Arabian leaders had requested him to extend his visit so that he could meet more Saudi leaders but had to turn it down due to prior engagements at home.

“I appreciate the invitation, including for an audience scheduled with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the Crown Prince, but had to turn it down because of the scheduled iftar with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow and an official visit to Cambodia,” he said.

Anwar and the delegation departed for Kuala Lumpur from Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport at 12.30am (5.30am in Malaysia) Saturday.

The prime minister is scheduled to make a one-day official visit to Cambodia on Monday (March 27).

Meanwhile, Anwar described his visit to Saudi Arabia as very positive with several discussions held with the Muslim and business communities that allowed the relationship between the two countries to continue to grow.

“Departing for the Federal capital with Azizah (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) and the delegation after concluding a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.

InsyaAllah, I will return to Saudi Arabia to continue this good relationship,” he said in a Facebook post tonight.

— Bernama


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