Vivian Balakrishnan 'confident' of working closely with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin

Vivian Balakrishnan 'confident' of working closely with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin

Vivian Balakrishnan with Saifuddin Abdullah
Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah (left) and Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. (Photo: Facebook/Vivian Balakrishnan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said he was "confident" that he and his Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, will be able to "work closely together". 

Mr Saifuddin is in Singapore from Monday to Tuesday for an introductory visit

In a Facebook post on Monday (Jul 30), Dr Balakrishnan said during his meeting with Mr Saifuddin, they "took stock of the wide-ranging cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia" and "exchanged ideas on new opportunities to work on together".

"I also took the opportunity to also welcome Dato' Saifuddin to the ASEAN circuit," added Dr Balakrishnan, who also hosted Mr Saifuddin and his wife, Norlin Shamsul Bahri, to a lunch.

Dr Balakrishnan wrote: "I am confident we can work closely together on a forward-looking agenda to strengthen our bilateral ties and regional cooperation." 

The two ministers also exchanged views on developments in ASEAN and the region, as well as the importance of encouraging more inter-faith dialogue and understanding, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a press statement on Monday.

Mr Saifuddin also expressed Malaysia’s support for Singapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN, the ministry said.

Later in the afternoon, Mr Saifuddin called on President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Malaysia foreign minister Saifuddin meets Halimah
Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah meets Singapore President Halimah Yacob on Jul 30, 2018. (Photo: Facebook/Halimah Yacob)

"During the calls, President Halimah and Prime Minister Lee expressed Singapore’s commitment to work with the new Malaysian government to strengthen bilateral relations," MFA said. 

Both sides reaffirmed the longstanding, extensive and mutually beneficial cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia, and looked forward to exchanges between ministers and officials on both sides, the ministry added.

Mr Saifuddin will call on Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean on Tuesday.

Source: CNA/ng