PM Anwar, Sultan of Brunei stress the need for Asean to remain united, relevant

04 Aug 2023 12:26pm
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during a discussion session with the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah- Photo by Bernama
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during a discussion session with the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah- Photo by Bernama

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Thursday stressed the need for ASEAN to remain united and relevant.

This is to maintain ASEAN's central role as a key driving force that is effective and responsive in dealing with future opportunities and challenges.

Both leaders said this in a joint statement after the 24th Malaysia-Brunei Darussalam Annual Leaders’ Consultation (ALC) in Putrajaya.

"They further reaffirmed their commitment to continue working with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and maintain ASEAN’s outward-looking approach based on mutual interest and benefit to further advance ASEAN’s Community-building efforts," the statement read.

Both leaders also discussed the recent developments in Myanmar and expressed strong concerns regarding the ongoing violence in the country. "Both Leaders called on Myanmar to fully implement the Five-Point Consensus (5PC) and reiterated the unified position that the 5PC remains ASEAN’s main reference to address the political crisis in Myanmar," said the statement.

Both Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work closely within ASEAN and other external partners, including the United Nations (UN) to encourage progress in the implementation of the 5PC in its entirety, in line with the ASEAN Leaders’ decision at the 42nd ASEAN Summit, with the end goal of finding a peaceful and durable solution, in the interest of the people of Myanmar.

On another note, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian territories was also discussed by both leaders, where they noted with concern that this year marked the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, according to the statement.

Nakba refers to the mass displacement and dispossession of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. "The Leaders called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) and members of the international community to demand the occupying power halt its heinous crimes against humanity as well as apartheid policies against the Palestinians, with a view to ending the occupation and achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, in line with international law and all relevant UNSC resolutions," said the statement.

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Both Leaders reaffirmed their unwavering position that the Palestinians deserve their right to an independent and sovereign state of their own, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, it added.

Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah and his consort, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha arrived on Wednesday for a three-day state visit to Malaysia until Friday which coincided with the ALC.