ANKARA: Malaysia and Turkiye have agreed to continue to work together to ensure their food supply chains remain adequate and stable, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister said he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concurred that the food security issue had become increasingly worrisome due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"In fact, it has become more critical now because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” he told a joint press conference with Erdogan at the Presidential Complex here on Thursday (July 7).
The press conference was telecast live by several television stations in Turkiye and Malaysia.
Ismail Sabri, who is on a four-day official visit to the republic at the invitation of Erdogan, said among the immediate steps taken by Malaysia and Turkiye to tackle the issue was boosting trade in food products and maintaining their cooperation in sharing information and experiences.
At the same time, the two countries will intensify research and development (R&D) in the food sector to enhance their capacity to produce food resources and ensure the stability and sustainability of their food security.
Ismail Sabri added that he had also conveyed to Erdogan the good news that the Malaysian government had accorded recognition to degrees from 208 universities in Turkiye.
"I am confident this will give a boost to international standard research products from the universities in both countries. Furthermore, this is the (kind of) news being awaited by Malaysian Family children who studied or are still pursuing their studies in this country,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said he and Erdogan also agreed to step up cooperation between the two countries in the defence industry.
"I informed the President that during this visit I had the opportunity to hold meetings with and make visits to several defence industry players in Turkiye,” said Ismail Sabri, who Wednesday visited two major Turkish defence and aerospace industry companies - MKE Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
The two countries were also in agreement on the need for continued support for the Palestinian struggle, said Ismail Sabri, adding that Malaysia appreciates Turkiye’s stand and efforts in championing the cause of the Palestinians.
"The two nations, along with like-minded countries, will continue to coordinate efforts towards seeking an end to the occupation by the Zionist regime and in realising Palestine as an independent and sovereign country,” he said.
On the Russia-Ukraıne issue, Ismail Sabri said he praised Erdogan’s efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and that they both agreed that all parties involved should take immediate action to settle the conflict, which has threatened world peace.
The prime minister said at his meeting with Erdogan he congratulated the president on the United Nations’ recognition of the country’s name change from Turkey to Turkiye.
Ismail Sabri is accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah; International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad; Chief of Air Force Jen Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan and Chief of Army Jen Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain.
Turkiye is Malaysia’s third biggest trading partner in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with total trade between the two countries hitting RM16.97bil (US$4.09bil) in 2021 and projects implemented worth RM444.59mil (US$130.91mil). - Bernama