Malaysian PM in five-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Establishment of King Salman Centre for International Peace is high on bilateral talks agenda as Najeeb Razzak visits

Manama: The establishment of the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) in Putrajaya, the seat of Malaysia’s government, will be among the key issues to be discussed during Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najeeb Razzak working visit to Saudi Arabia starting on Monday, officials have said.

The Centre started operations in May, from a temporary office in the capital Kuala Lumpur, as part of its mission to correct perception of the world community towards Islam, and deflect the influence of extremism and terrorist activities and promote universal peace.

In July, Najeeb announced that a permanent structure for the KSCIP would be built on a 16-hectare plot of land in Putrajaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia.

The government has two years to build the new centre in Putrajaya.

“The construction of KSCIP in Putrajaya reflects the importance of the institution, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself will come to Malaysia to launch the Centre together with me,” he said.

“This is because King Salman could have chosen any other country to build the centre, but the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chose this country.”

According to Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussain, KSCIP’s operations involve Islamic scholars, academicians, intelligence agencies and certain centres at the regional and international levels.

“KSCIP will not only focus on military aspects, but also on academic elements, with the main role to combat terrorist threats and the spread of propaganda and ideologies bandied about by the extremists and the terrorists,” he said, quoted by Malaysian media.

Saudi-Malaysian talks during Najeeb’s five-day visit, at the invitation of King Salman, will also include issues related to economic cooperation, investment and Haj matters.

Najeeb will be accompanied by his wife Rosmah Mansor and senior government officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, a statement from Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry, carried by Bernama, the official news agency, said.

Najeeb is scheduled to have an audience with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in the capital Riyadh.

“The meetings will provide them with the opportunity to discuss and exchange views on bilateral, multilateral, regional and international issues, particularly the follow-up actions on issues discussed and agreed upon during the historic state visit by King Salman to Malaysia last year,” the statement said.

“These meetings are very timely as the special relationship between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia is at an all-time high. Certainly, the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia will strengthen the bond of friendship between the two countries.”

King Salman in February last year made a four-day state visit to Malaysia, his first to a country in Southeast Asia since his ascension to the throne in January 2015.

King Salman was also conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Universiti Malaya and an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (Islam and Wasatiyyah) degree as well as a Lifetime Outstanding Achievement Award by the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

The visit also saw the signing of several memorandums of understanding, including a Share Purchase Agreement between the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas).


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