Malaysia wants major powers to work together to ensure the region remains peaceful and free from the threat of nuclear weapons via the Asean platform.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said dialogue and cooperation were important to ensure the region remains stable and free in the midst of escalating geopolitical turmoil.
“I have urged the major powers to deal with differences of opinion among them in a healthy and responsible manner, including via Asean-led mechanisms such as the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP),“ he told a press conference.
He also urged the nuclear-armed countries to immediately sign and ratify the Protocol to the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty.
According to him, China has expressed its willingness to sign and ratify the SEANWFZ protocol without reservations.
Countries with nuclear weapons such as the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States have expressed their willingness to discuss this matter with Asean.
He also strongly condemned North Korea’s repeated missile launches, including on Wednesday, to the point of threatening international peace, and called for an immediate halt to its nuclear and missile programmes.
Zambry arrived here on Tuesday to attend 17 meetings between Asean and non-Asean partners including the 56th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the Asean Regional Forum.
The agreement reached in the meeting that ended yesterday was enshrined in the Joint Communique that was published.
Regarding Myanmar, Zambry said any engagement session held with the Myanmar should not mean that Asean recognises the legitimacy of the Myanmar authorities.
On the issue of Islamophobia, he conveyed Malaysia’s concern about insensitivity and attempts to incite hatred by such acts as burning copies of the Quran in some countries.
“Racism, intolerance and prejudice as well as the act of destroying holy books of any religion is a barbaric act and needs to be strongly condemned,” he said.
Touching on the Palestinian issue, Zambry called on the major powers to give the conflict the same attention as other conflicts going on in the world.
“This is a discriminatory attitude of certain countries that often condemn conflicts in other countries but continue to protect the Israeli regime,“ he said.
Regarding the South China Sea issue, Zambry stated that these issues need to be dealt with peacefully and rationally through dialogue and negotiation using diplomatic channels.
He was disappointed when Asean’s stance on the South China Sea issue was not taken into account by the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Azerbaijan recently.
Regarding palm oil, Zambry informed the meeting on the formation of a joint task force with Malaysia, Indonesia and the European Union (EU) to study and find a win-win solution.
He expressed Malaysia’s concerns about the impact of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) on the commodity sector, especially palm oil and smallholders from Asean producer countries.
This time, Zambry held 11 meetings with counterparts from Singapore, Saudi Arabia, India, Timor-Leste, Japan, Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Mongolia and the United States to discuss bilateral issues involving the economy and socio-culture.
He said the presence of dialogue partners is a manifestation of Asean’s ability as a ‘convening power’ capable of bringing world and regional powers to the negotiating table.
Asean’s dialogue partners are the United States, Australia, China, India, Japan, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Zambry said Malaysia’s stance at this meeting was based on the policy of ‘Madani society’ in line with the government’s efforts to translate the ‘Madani’ values in building the Asean Community.
“Malaysia, which will chair Asean in 2025, will continue to maintain this positive momentum and ensure that Malaysia’s voice continues to be loud on the international stage,“ he said. – Bernama
Source : The Sun Daily