KUALA LUMPUR, 9 June – The two-day visit of Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to Malaysia from Tuesday marked a new momentum of positive interaction between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to strengthen existing strong bilateral relations.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said Prince Faisal’s visit was a testament to the strong and longstanding ties between the two nations.
He shared that in a bilateral meeting, both of them had agreed to elevate the multifaceted bilateral relations between the two nations to higher levels.
Saifuddin said both sides had agreed to convene the first Saudi-Malaysian Coordination Council (SMCC) early next year, which will serve as an overarching bilateral platform for consultations in multiple sectors in post-pandemic recovery, such as trade and investment, health, sociocultural, Haj and Umrah matters.
In an update on his Facebook page, he had also expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s continued support to Malaysia in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia will convert the earlier pledge of one million AstraZeneca vaccines to Malaysia into a monetary contribution amounting to US$5.25 million.
“We further agreed to expand the scope of cooperation to include vaccination certificate recognition, sharing of experience and expertise in pandemic response, and R&D to develop a Covid-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment,” he said.
Both ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to foster people-to-people interaction in the field of training and capacity building of public officials as well as in the education sector.
They also discussed the preparation for the Hajj season 1443H, Saifuddin said, adding that Malaysia expressed hope that Saudi Arabia will consider giving additional slots for Malaysian pilgrims this season.
“On regional and international issues, we exchanged views on various key global and regional developments in Ukraine and Palestine.
“We share deep concerns for the dire humanitarian situations and agreed to work together in providing humanitarian assistance,” he added.
Prince Faisal was on an inaugural two-day official visit to Malaysia from June 7 to 8.
The Prince began his visit here with an audience with the King, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara on Wednesday, followed by a courtesy call to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. — Bernama