Turkey and Malaysia will continue to cooperate on regional issues, including the Palestine crisis, advocating a two-state solution, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Thursday.
“We will continue to give our best support to the Palestinians. Turkey has helped a lot to aid Palestinians. We will tackle the problems in Palestine and we will continue to coordinate our endeavors and efforts in order to make Palestine a free and sovereign state,” Ismail said.
The two countries are working for peace in the region, he continued.
Known for its unbreakable solidarity with the Palestinians, Turkey has been voicing support for the Palestinian cause on the international stage for decades. Turkish authorities emphasize that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the Middle East is through a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue within the framework of international law and United Nations resolutions.
Turkish officials continue to criticize Israel’s policies targeting Palestinians, including the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Among other issues discussed were the fight against Islamophobia, cooperation in the defense industry, the environment, food security, health, education, energy, communication and tourism.
"We have decided to elevate the relations between our countries from the level of a strategic partnership to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership,” Erdoğan said.
"As Turkey, we are working to strengthen our cooperation with all our brothers in Asia with our Asia New Initiative, with a win-win understanding,” Erdoğan highlighted.
Saying that Malaysia is the biggest trade partner of Turkey in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Erdoğan pointed out that, “Despite the pandemic, our trade volume surpassed $3.5 billion last year.”
The two countries are eyeing a trade volume of $5 billion for the year 2024, the president added.
“I believe that expanding our free trade agreement to include services, investments and electronic commerce will further strengthen our economic and commercial ties. With this update, we will have the opportunity to move toward our goals with faster steps and to make the trade of goods and services more balanced," he pointed out.
"We plan to put our domestic and national vaccine, TURKOVAC, into use in Malaysia, transfer vaccine technology and carry out vaccine development studies together," Erdoğan said.
Seven agreements were signed between the two countries on Thursday in the fields of the defense industry, industry and technology, health, communications and media.
Ismail, who is on a four-day trip to Turkey, was welcomed by Erdoğan with an official ceremony at the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara.
Ismail arrived in Turkey on Tuesday and spent the day in Istanbul where he met the Malaysian community and Turkish businesspeople and inspected Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, which is owned and managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Malaysia, which enjoy a broad-based, close partnership, were established in 1964, and relations were carried to the level of strategic partnership in 2014.
Besides bilateral cooperation, the two countries also cooperate in international institutions including the United Nations, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the D-8 as both Ankara and Kuala Lumpur share a common perspective on a broad range of regional and global issues.
Turkey also signed a free trade agreement with Malaysia in 2014, constituting Ankara’s first such agreement with a member of ASEAN.