Saifuddin: We didn’t seek Hisham’s help to restore ties with Saudis

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah. (Bernama pic)

KUANTAN: Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah today denied a report that the government had sought the assistance of former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein to help restore diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

He said the authenticity of the report, published by a news portal, was doubtful as it only cited ‘”sources from Putrajaya”.

“I did not meet him (Hishammuddin) and Wisma Putra had never sought his assistance to help restore ties with Saudi Arabia.

“What happened was I had a discussion with the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Malaysia about a month after my appointment as the foreign minister.

“I explained to him about the decision to withdraw the Malaysian soldiers from the Saudi Arabia-led coalition war against Yemen,” he said after officiating the Kuantan district-level Education Empowerment Forum at Kolej Universiti Widad here.

Saifuddin said during the meeting, he also explained the cancellation of the King Salman Centre for International Peace, a decision which he said was well received by the ambassador.

“We received good feedback from the Saudi Arabian government and the privileges accorded to Malaysian pilgrims during haj season this year are proof that relations between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have remained good,” he added.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin, who is also Indera Mahkota MP, said the Indonesian government welcomed the RM1 million humanitarian aid given for victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi.

“We will continue to provide assistance to the victims from time to time and according to their needs.

“We also hope that the victims will recover and have the strength to rebuild their lives,” he said.