MoFA to set new approach for foreign policy

CCFP discusses 6 issues in formulating the country’s foreign policy that aligns with the national interests


THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is seeking new approaches and new areas of focus for the country’s existing foreign policies that are in line with the current needs.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (picture) said a Consultative Council on Foreign Policy (CCFP) last Friday discussed six issues in formulating the country’s foreign policy that aligns with the national interests.

“There are six key topics discussed today, including health diplomacy which corresponds to the current global situation of the Covid-19 pandemic. The discussion is followed by the importance of multilateralism at the international level which has existed for a long time,” Saifuddin said at the CCFP virtual press conference last Friday.

According to him, MoFA has proposed a “peaceful coexistence” as a Malaysian product to be featured in multilateral discussions.

“The third topic is our digital economy, which has always been a focus of our diplomatic relations. The diplomacy economy already exists, but the digital economy should be taken more seriously because it involves not only security and technology but also international trade,” added Saifuddin.

He also pressed on the fourth key issue, cybersecurity, which is important not only for security but also for trade and economic development.

“The fifth issue is about the sustainable development goals that will be implemented through the 12th Malaysia Plan, which the Prime Minister will announce in Parliament on Sept 27. We will also be focusing on several areas of cultural diplomacy issue,” Saifuddin added.

Besides, some of the issues raised in the discussion include the Afghan and Myanmar crises.

“We are following the development in Kabul and the whole of Afghanistan very closely through various information such as our embassy offices in New Delhi, India and Islamabad, Pakistan. We are taking a very cautious approach and we will probably need more information to understand what is happening on the ground,” the minister added.

Saifuddin will also propose to the Parliament to set up a special select committee on foreign affairs at the Parliament sitting today.