KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Foreign minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today highlighted four main issues which he felt is strongly related to the regional cooperation in Asia, namely the ongoing Myanmar crisis, the South China Sea issue, the Palestinian struggle, and Regional Economic Integration.
Hishammuddin, who was invited as a panelist at the two-day inaugural Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkey, which ended today, stressed that the progress of the ‘Five-Point Consensus’ reached by ASEAN leaders in a special meeting in Jakarta recently to assist Myanmar to return to normalcy has been painfully slow.
“However, I can confirm today that my Asean colleagues and I are working actively 24 by 7 to implement this consensus, and a find a way forward,” he said at the forum, entitled ‘Regional Cooperation in Asia’, which was telecast live through the Antalya Diplomacy Forum’s website.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum explores the horizons of diplomacy across a range of key regional, global and thematic issues under the theme ‘Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches’.
On the South China Sea issue, the foreign minister said many viewed the issue purely based on lines and dots that intersect and diverge on a map.
“In the world of international relations, all elements need to be analysed through a geopolitical lens, taking into account power, geography, and diversity.
“Geopolitical balance in our region, especially between the United States and China, is dynamic, and no country remains unaffected,” he added.
He also said that Malaysia is heartened to see the collective voices of Muslim nations emerge louder and stronger as a result of the recent attacks in Palestine.
“While we focus on humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, which Malaysia along with our partners regionally and globally are actively engaging in, we must continue to fight for the rights of Palestinians who are still being oppressed, still being evicted from their homes, and even worse, still being killed,” he added.
Touching on Regional Economic Integration, the foreign minister said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), combined with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), will deepen economic integration within East Asia and enhance the region’s prominence as a trading centre.
“Our economies will become more efficient individually and, as a bloc, more competitive globally. East Asia will also become more attractive to investors and trade partners from Europe and Latin America,” he added.
Hishammuddin is currently on working visits to Turkey and Egypt from June 18 to 21.— Bernama