ANKARA, Aug 18 ― Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah granted an audience to Turkiye Vice President Fuad Oktay at the JW Marriot Ankara Hotel here in conjunction with His Majesty's state visit to Turkiye.

Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Seri Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin in a statement said the unscheduled audience was held following His Majesty's meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the state welcome ceremony on Tuesday (August 16).

In the hour-long audience, several issues were discussed, especially on bilateral relations.

Ahmad Fadil said the audience was in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's visit to Turkiye last month where the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Turkiye was upgraded from “Famework for Strategic Cooperation” to “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”.

The uograding of ties is closed tied to strengthening cooperation between the two countries in existing fields and also exploring new ones including on food security, education, commodities, financial services, defence, oil and gas and renewable energy.

According to Ahmad Fadil, the issues raised during the audience also took into account matters discussed when the Turkish Foreign Minister visited Malaysia in early August.

Also present during the audience were Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz; Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Datuk Seri Amran Mohamed Zin; Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez; Governor of Turkey's Central Bank, Sahap Kavcioglu; Chief Executive Officer of Turkish Petroleum, Melih Han Bilgin and Turkey's Ambassador to Malaysia, Emir Salim Yuksel.

This year marks the 58th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Turkey, which have been established since 1964.

Malaysia and Turkey have signed 23 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) since 1977 and trade relations between the two countries have been growing since the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2014.

Turkey is Malaysia's third largest trading partner in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with total trade between the two countries recording RM16.96 billion last year. Exports amounted to RM14.12 billion while total imports were worth RM2.84 billion.

Malaysia's main imports from Turkey include iron and other metals, petroleum products, jewellery, textiles and clothing. — Bernama