Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met his newly-elected Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad after he arrived in Kuala Lumpur for a day’s visit, his second in the 3-nation tour aimed at enhancing India’s Act East Policy doctrine. The two leaders had a productive exchange of views on strengthening the strategic partnership, reported news agencies.
“The two leaders had a productive exchange of views on strengthening our strategic partnership. PM congratulated Dr. Mahathir on assuming the post of Prime Minister of Malaysia,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
“Glad to have met Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. I thank him for the warm welcome. We had productive discussions on further cementing India-Malaysia ties,” Modi tweeted in both Malay and English.
The two leaders discussed ways to boost economic and cultural relations between India and Malaysia.
Modi is among the first world leaders to meet Mahathir, who became the world’s oldest elected leader when his opposition alliance registered a stunning victory over the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which had ruled Malaysia since 1957. Mahathir was sworn in as Malaysia’s prime minister on May 10.
This is the first meeting between the two leaders. Modi last visited Malaysia in November 2015.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the two leaders had a productive exchange of views on strengthening the strategic partnership.
During his brief stopover, Modi also met with Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her husband Anwar Ibrahim.
“Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Wan Azizah called on PM @narendramodi during PM’s brief stopover in Kuala Lumpur. Good discussion took place to take our relationship to newer heights. Former DPM Anwar Ibrahim was also present,” Kumar tweeted.
Malaysia and India have close ties with culture and history as well as in various key areas, particularly infrastructure development, education, tourism and defense.
India is Malaysia’s largest trading partner in South Asia with total turnover of RM 61.43 billion (USD 15.44 billion) in 2017.
Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Modi will be discussing aspects relating to India-Malaysia cooperation with Mahathir. “Malaysia is a strategic partner and a priority country in our Act East Policy,” Kumar said.
(With inputs from PTI)