Malaysia to discuss Australia-Asean ties at special summit in Melbourne

MELBOURNE: Malaysia will discuss Australia's interest in strengthening ties with Asean and continuing cooperation with the region at the Asean-Australia Special Summit here on Wednesday (March 6), says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister, who is leading the Malaysian delegation to the summit, said that as a sign of Australia's seriousness in fostering closeness with Asean, the country announced on Monday an AU$2bil fund for investment and collaboration in various fields within Asean.

"The agenda is still tied to Asean-Australia cooperation, investment issues, collaboration in addressing internal issues related to digital matters, energy transition. These are among the issues that we need to discuss," he said in a media briefing with Malaysian journalists on Tuesday night (March 5).

Anwar said he would also take the opportunity to express appreciation to Australia and New Zealand, which have stated their support for efforts to stop the attacks in Gaza and their desire to provide humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said that the visit to Australia is not only to strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Australia by both prime ministers but also to provide clarity on several matters deemed as ambiguous previously.

"This is especially an effort to make Australia a country that can provide cooperation in energy transition and digital transformation because they have expertise.

"Prime Minister (Anwar) has given strong views on behalf of our country and Asean, especially regarding Malaysia and Asean's stance on the atrocities in Gaza.

"Australia sees Asean as a gateway to the world, they look to Asean before other parts of the world; Asean is a very important region for Australia," he said.

Mohamad said besides announcing an AU$2bil aid fund to Asean, Australia is also granting frequent business travelers to the country a 10-year visa to facilitate travel. – Bernama

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Anwar Ibrahim , Asean , Australia , Summit , Mohamad Hasan , Gaza


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