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Dr Mahathir arrives in Bangkok for ASEAN Summit

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BANGKOK: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived here today to attend the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summit, which begins tomorrow.

The special aircraft carrying Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, touched down at the Military Air Terminal Two, Wing 6 of the Don Mueang International Airport at 4.50pm Malaysian time.

Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah were greeted upon arrival by Thai Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. Also present were Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel.

Dr Mahathir will join his counterparts for the second and final ASEAN Summit hosted by Thailand as Chair of ASEAN 2019, which starts tomorrow.

Dr Mahathir has a packed schedule with back-to-back meetings at the three-day summit at the IMPACT Convention and Exhibition Centre here.

The Malaysian delegation includes Saifuddin, International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Darell Leiking as well as senior government officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Wisma Putra and MITI.

Dr Mahathir is scheduled to attend at least eight summit meetings with leaders from the grouping and from the region, as well as two bilateral meetings with his Thai counterpart General Prayut Chan-o-cha and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The bilateral meetings are expected to strengthen Malaysia’s bilateral relations with other countries and enhance understanding on pertinent regional and global issues.

Tomorrow, Dr Mahathir is scheduled to visit the ASEAN Community Showcase (ASEAN Styles: Sharing the Future) and tour the Malaysian exhibition site that showcases products and services from Malaysia, which is held in conjunction with the 35th ASEAN Summit at IMPACT.

At the invitation of the ASEAN Business and Advisory Council, the prime minister will attend the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit dialogue session (ABIS 2019) themed Empowering ASEAN 4.0.

Later in the afternoon, Dr Mahathir will attend the plenary session of the 35th ASEAN Summit, which will discuss the agenda “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” and foreign relations and future direction of ASEAN as well as regional and international issues.

During the three days of the summit, the prime minister is scheduled attend eight meetings, the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit, 16th ASEAN-India Summit, 10th ASEAN-United Nations Summit, 22nd ASEAN Plus Three Summit (APT), 7th ASEAN-United States Summit, 14th East Asia Summit (EAS), 22nd ASEAN-Japan Summit and 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit (RCEP).

Meanwhile, in a statement, Wisma Putra said the summit is the second and final ASEAN Summit to be hosted by Thailand as Chair of ASEAN for 2019, with the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”.

Under the theme, it said, the leaders are expected to note the work that has been done in implementing the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability, which was adopted during the first Summit in June.

Meanwhile, Dr Siti Hasmah has a separate programme, including attending the Exhibition on Waste Management by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand at Siam Cement Public Company Limited (SCG) and PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC) IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center.

She will attend the Interactive Session on “Sharing Best Practices in Waste Management”.

On Monday, Dr Siti Hasmah and spouses of other heads of government and state will visit the National Museum of Bangkok at Samran Mukkhamatya Pavilion National Museum Bangkok

She is also scheduled to visit Bangkunprom Palace at Samsen Road and join a luncheon hosted by the Thai Prime  Minister’s wife, Associate Professor Naraporn Chan o-cha.

— BERNAMA

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