PUTRAJAYA: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) regards the issue of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Saudi Arabia on 22nd -24th March 2023 that had been played up negatively by certain groups is unfair to the ministry and both the government of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
MoFA in its statement said the issues raised are merely speculation and far from the real facts on the visit.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs had met his counterpart Saudi Arabia Minister of Foreign Affairs on his visit to Riyadh on 19-22 February 2023. The discussion was specifically on the prime minister’s visit and the suitability of the dates and the expected deliverables of the visit.
“Discussion had also been held between the Malaysian Embassy in Riyadh with the Arab Saudi Foreign Ministry and several others in the country to ensure the success of the official visit of the prime minister.
“The discussions had shown the preparedness of the Saudi Arabia government to receive and ensure the visit of the prime minister will achieve the targeted aims,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the earlier proposed date for the visit before or during Ramadan is not an issue to Saudi Arabia. This matter had been mentioned clearly during the discussion.
“The ministry was also informed that the Saudi Arabia government had an open mind to receive foreign leaders during Ramadan. Before this the Arab Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs had made a counter proposal on the date of visit for a Malaysian leader in Ramadan,” the statement said.
MoFA in its statement also mentioned that the ministry had received the Diplomatic Note dated 21st March 2023 from the Saudi Arabia embassy that confirmed the date of prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
“The same Diplomatic Note was also received on the same date by the Malaysian Embassy in Riyadh from the Saudi Arabia government. Both the Diplomatic Notes was referring to the official visit of the prime minister on 22-25 March 2023 including the courtesy call programme on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Royal Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.
“Both the Diplomatic Notes have shown clearly that Saudi Arabia welcomes the visit including the umrah pilgrimage in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and visit to Madinah Al-Munawwarah,” the statement said. –Malaysia World News