Abdullah going on Asean tour next month


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Dec 2003

BY MERGAWATI ZULFAKAR

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is making his Asean tour next month, a trip seen as part of the tradition for Asean leaders who just took office. 

It is learnt the Prime Minister’s first stop will be Indonesia, followed by Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines – the founding members of Asean. 

“He will later visit Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. 

“The Government hopes the tour will be completed before the end of January,” a source told The Star yesterday. 

Abdullah, who took office on Oct 31, visited Brunei Darussalam last Sunday. 

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Wisma Putra was finalising the dates for Abdullah's Asean tour. 

“During the Asean-Japan commemorative summit in Tokyo last week, all the Asean leaders invited the Prime Minister to visit their countries as soon as possible,” he added. 

It is also learnt the Government does not want to delay the trip because of “pressing issues” as well as planned visits by foreign dignitaries. 

Asked about the bilateral issues to be raised with these countries, especially Singapore, Syed Hamid said bilateral relations were not influenced by issues. 

“Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has spoken to the Prime Minister several times. Goh even called Abdullah when he became the Prime Minister. In Tokyo, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the summit,” Syed Hamid added.  

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