Turkey, Asia - Pacific

'Kuala Lumpur summit opportunity for more cooperation'

In interview with Anadolu Agency, Malaysian envoy in Ankara discusses facets of summit, possible outcome

Sorvar Alam and Riyaz Ul Khaliq   | 18.12.2019
'Kuala Lumpur summit opportunity for more cooperation' Malaysian Chargé d'Affaires Arhan Syafrisyah Shah Anuar speaks during an exclusive interview in Ankara, Turkey on December 18, 2019. ( Fatih Kurt - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

The Kuala Lumpur Summit, kicking off from Thursday is an opportunity to explore more cooperation between the participating countries, Malaysia’s envoy in Ankara said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in the Turkish capital, Malaysian Chargé d'Affaires Arhan Syafrisyah Shah Anuar, said that the officials of the participating countries are expected to draft many agreements and memoranda of understanding for the consideration of the leaders attending the summit.

“The Kuala Lumpur Summit would be a catalyst for more cooperation in numerous sectors like business and defense,” he said.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, besides the host Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will deliver keynote addresses at the summit.

Hundreds of government officials, business people, representatives of civil societies and experts from different sectors across the Muslim world are participating in the summit to deliberate upon issues facing the Islamic world.

“So, it is not just a meeting for leaders… it is for all across the board,” he said.

At least seven key issues will be discussed in the summit, according to the envoy.

“The role of political parties, development, redistribution of wealth, shared prosperity, food security, advanced high-tech preservation of national identity and national policies will be the part of discussions,” Shah Anuar added.

During the summit, specific issues will be discussed under various ambits, such as justice and freedom; peace, security and defense; culture and identity; integrity and good governance, he outlined.

“The Kuala Lumpur Summit is a platform to discuss issues confronting the Muslim world; there are so many challenges, we face today and there are existing platforms including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, but this summit is an additional effort to complement the other efforts. It is not something else,” Shah Anuar said.

Summit not intended to build alternative to any forum 

He denied reports that the summit was an attempt to build an alternative to other forums, mentioning that this year's event is the fifth session of the Kuala Lumpur Summit.

The diplomat said that Malaysia and its various ministries had specific tasks to extend the invitation to the leaders of Muslim countries.

“I believe we went to various countries, including those who are in the African region, Gulf region and individually as well.

“It also depends on the availability of leaders,” he added.

The Malaysian envoy insisted that the summit was “not any association that requires some certain point of nomenclature”.

“It is a loosely arranged grouping to say, with the goal to address potential issues, with the Muslim world comprising of NGOs and individuals,” he explained.

He said that many businessmen and people from civil society groups are attending it.

The diplomat said that the summit this year is witnessing a increased number of attendees. “More and more leaders really wanted to participate. So, it is an evolving mechanism which surely provides a growing number of opportunities,” he said.

He said that the Turkish government had given its consent to attend the summit a few months ago. “But at the same time, we also understand that the Turkish President had many commitments and we are really grateful for his attendance. That is the case for all the leaders,” he said.

“There are areas of development, cooperation. So, this is an opportunity for more cooperation between the countries that are participating and also countries that will be participating in the future."

He said that the summit has different segments between businesses, NGOs. “They are working really hard to draft deals that could be concluded during the summit,” he said, referring to trade relations between Malaysia and Turkey.

Joint TV channel to fight islamophobia

The diplomat said that Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan are holding working group level talks to launch a joint TV channel, as announced earlier this year by their leaders.

He added that the trilateral solidarity between these countries was different from the current summit.

“These three countries joined hands to do something about the Muslims around the world… there is a misconception about Muslims, for which this TV channel is being launched,” he said.

He added that top level delegations from the three partners are holding technical discussions with regard to the content and other infrastructure of the project.

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