King’s visit to Turkiye a huge success

King’s visit to Turkiye a huge success

ISTANBUL: The eight-day state visit of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to Turkiye from last Monday has had a massive impact on strengthening bilateral relations between Malaysia and the republic.

Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Seri Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the visit, made at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was special as it symbolised the importance, closeness and strong bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Turkiye which was established since 1964.

“In my opinion, the state visit was a success based on three things, firstly, His Majesty was conferred the Turkish Order of the State, the highest award of the Turkish government, making him the first ASEAN head of state to be given the honour.

“Then, His Majesty was awarded an honorary doctorate in political science and international relations by the Marmara University,” he told Bernama and RTM here.

Ahmad Fadil said Erdogan personally requested the visit to be extended to eight days from the original seven days.

Ahmad Fadil said the relationship was further strengthened during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s official visit to Turkiye last month where the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Turkiye was upgraded from ‘Strategic Cooperation’ to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.

“In other words, it also opens up space for the two leaders to further strengthen friendship not only in bilateral relations but also in the fields of economics and business,“ he said.

The state visit to Turkiye was scheduled for last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last state visit to Turkiye by a Malaysian monarch was in 1992 by the 9th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the late Sultan Azlan Shah.

The state visit was the first by His Majesty and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Fadil said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also expressed his joy at being able to meet Malaysians who are currently residing in Turkiye at a dinner here.

“His Majesty was proud of the academic achievements of the students here including Nurbalqis Abdul Rashid, the first Malaysian to be recognised by the Turkish government as a professional Malay-Turkish translator,” he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also expressed pride in the capabilities of the Malaysian people and companies in Turkiye, including Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, Khazanah Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Laundrybar, Mr. DIY and Malakat Eco Group Sdn Bhd, he said.

His Majesty was optimistic that bilateral relations between Malaysia and Turkiye would continue to strengthen ahead of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations in 2024.

Al-Sultan Abdullah is expected to hold his next state visit to Singapore next month. – Bernama