Foreign minister: Govt preparing to evacuate Malaysians from Iran, Iraq

University students attend a protest against the US and Iran interventions, in Basra, Iraq January 8, 2020. — Reuters pic
University students attend a protest against the US and Iran interventions, in Basra, Iraq January 8, 2020. — Reuters pic

PUCHONG, Jan 9 —- The government is making preparation to evacuate 220 Malaysians residing in Iran and Iraq following the latest conflict in the region, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the matter was decided in a special meeting between the ministry and various agencies, including the National Security Council, Defence Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry and Prime Minister’s Department that was held yesterday.

“We are making preparations in case there is a need for evacuation. Currently, there are 58 Malaysians in Iran, half of whom are students.

“In Iraq, we have 162 with the majority of them is Petronas staff and several lecturers,” he told reporters after joining Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in her visit to SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong 1, Pusat Bandar Puchong here yesterday.

Saifuddin also said that the ministry had instructed embassies near the conflict zones to be on standby for possible evacuation.

“To those residing in the said countries, please keep in touch with the embassies,” he said while asking Malaysians at home to defer non-essential trips to the region. — Bernama

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