PETALING JAYA: Government officials are reportedly preparing to reopen talks with Abu Dhabi next week towards a settlement of a dispute over financial arrangements involving 1MDB.
A special task force, led by Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, is to go to Dubai next week to work out a settlement, the Straits Times reported in Singapore, quoting financial executives and lawyers in the know.
FMT is awaiting confirmation from the foreign ministry on the report.
The move for fresh negotiations comes in the wake of a settlement reached with international bankers Goldman Sachs earlier this month. The company agreed to pay US$3.9 billion (RM16.3 billion) in cash and guaranteed the return of several assets in exchange for Malaysia dropping criminal charges.
Attorney General Idrus Harun had said then that the new Perikatan Nasional government led by Muhyiddin Yassin was open to all forms of a resolution with Abu Dhabi.
The report said a deal with Abu Dhabi would be more complex and would require major concessions from both governments. “Any settlement would have to be political because both sides are not going to make any admission to guilt,” an unnamed former government official was quoted as saying.
1MDB and Abu Dhabi state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company were involved in an investment transaction that led to IPIC providing a guarantee of US$3.5 billion for 1MDB bonds.
1MDB was later sued for defaulting on its debt obligations but a settlement was reached during arbitration in London in 2017.
However, when Pakatan Harapan took power in 2018, the government challenged the arbitration settlement, and demanded the return of US$3.5 billion paid to an IPIC subsidiary.