KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman yesterday said there was no ‘rift’ between him and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, particularly over the upcoming state visit by the Emir of Qatar, as claimed by a local news portal yesterday.
Anifah said he and Hishammuddin, who is also Minister with Special Functions, had long been working very well and closely with each other on many occasions.
“The Government of Malaysia looks forward to the state visit by the Emir of Qatar, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with other Malaysian government agencies are currently making the necessary preparations for the visit,” he said in a statement, here, last night.
Earlier yesterday, a local news portal claimed that a “spat” had erupted over the Qatar emir’s visit to Malaysia.
On the broader issue of ongoing difficulties between the Arab Quartet and Qatar, Anifah said the Malaysian government’s position had been made very clear through the statement issued by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on July 12, this year.
In the statement, Najib had called on all parties to take immediate steps to comply with all agreements reached by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, specifically the 2014 Riyadh Agreement.
He said Malaysia believed that the agreement was an acceptable basis for a solution to the current crisis, while urging all parties to positively participate in the mediation efforts initiated by Kuwait to find a solution to the ongoing GCC crisis.
“Malaysia strongly supports the efforts by the Emir of Kuwait to mediate in the face of escalating tensions, and we stand ready to assist if our contribution is needed.
“We have always upheld the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other sovereign countries and urge all nations to do the same,” Najib had said.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorist organisations.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin when commenting on the issue earlier yesterday, denied the report’s allegation, describing it as ‘rubbish’.
He said the rift was between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and had got nothing to do with him and Anifah, stressing that the “Qatar-Saudi crisis will not jeopardise my relationship with Anifah”.
“Do you really think I can stop the Emir of Qatar if he wants to come? This is all fake news because to me, if the Emir of Qatar wants to come to Malaysia, it is an honour for us. Why should we prevent him from coming here?
“Nothing new lah guys,” he told reporters at Parliament building. “In the run-up to the 14th general election, there will be more of it (fake news) but they (the perpetrators) should be a bit more creative in trying to cause friction among us,” he added. – Bernama