First ‘all-hands’ meet with envoys

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a full show as heads of foreign missions here were invited to what was described as a “first” – an interactive session with the Foreign Minister.

Held at the Singapore High Commission, about 90 diplomats heard first-hand from Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir on the way forward as far as diplomacy was concerned.

Cordial relations:Zambry (middle, in  light blue jacket) posing for the cameras with the foreign envoys at Wisma Putra, Kuala Lumpur.Cordial relations:Zambry (middle, in light blue jacket) posing for the cameras with the foreign envoys at Wisma Putra, Kuala Lumpur.

Singapore High Commissioner Vanu Gopala Menon, who hosted the event as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, described the session on Tuesday with Zambry as an excellent engagement.

“He laid out his ideas and vision for Malaysia’s foreign policy. Malaysia has always been an active player in the international arena, and will continue to remain so.

“All of us found the Foreign Minister warm and engaging. He said his door was always open to the diplomatic corps and that he looked forward to working together to strengthen ties with countries, both near and far,” the envoy told The Star.

Also present at the two-hour session was Wisma Putra secretary-general Datuk Amran Zin and his deputy Datuk Cheong Loon Lai. After delivering his address, Zambry also took questions from the floor.

Zambry, who assumed his post after GE15, said he was informed by the heads of mission that it was a rare open dialogue session between them and a Malaysian Foreign Minister.

He said the envoys expected Malaysia to continue to be active in speaking out at the global level under the Anwar Ibrahim administration.

“At the same time, they hoped that Malaysia’s ties with their countries could be further enhanced. I have told my secretary-general for us to have more interaction with the foreign missions,” said Zambry, who also explained the Malaysia Madani concept to the envoys.

Zambry, a former Perak mentri besar, pledged to do his best to foster close ties between Malaysia and the world.

“We wish to establish direct delivery of information and interaction with the foreign missions in Malaysia.

“I was able to share some of the vision, mission and hopes of the Foreign Ministry and also that of the unity government under the leadership of the Prime Minister,” he said.

Austrian Ambassador Andreas Launer said he fully shared Zambry’s vision of a world of peace, dialogue and mutual understanding and pledged to work closely with Malaysia on that front.

Egyptian Ambassador Ragai Nasr commended Zambry for making the effort to meet the envoys and for his “nice personal touch”.

“He was frank and open. We took away a lot from the session and I look forward to more such engagement,” he added.

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