Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrived here to represent Malaysia at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The commercial aircraft carrying Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, and his entourage touched down at the John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 9.25 pm Saturday (9.25 am Sunday in Malaysia).
This is his fourth visit to the United States since appointed deputy prime minister in July last year, and his maiden appearance as head of the Malaysian delegation at UNGA.
On hand to welcome him were Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, as well as Malaysian officials based in New York and Washington.
Ahmad Zahid’s working visit to New York City is until Sept 25.
Besides Ahmad Zahid, the Malaysian entourage attending the UN gathering and related events, includes Anifah, as well as senior officials from the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and Home Ministry.
Last month, Ahmad Zahid chaired the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) at the UN headquarters.
Among the highlights of the deputy prime minister’s visit this time is delivering the national statement for Malaysia at the General Debate on Sept 24.
Prior to that, Ahmad Zahid is scheduled to participate in the High-Level Meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants at the General Assembly on Sept 19.
He will also join other leaders at the High-Level Meeting on the situation in Syria at the UN Security Council on Sept 21.
In October last year, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, at the 70th session of UNGA, announced that Malaysia would open its doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants on humanitarian grounds over a period of three years to help ease the refugee crisis.
It was reported that Malaysia was aiming to give temporary shelter to 500 Syrian migrants by the end of this year.
Ahmad Zahid is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the 71st UNGA to discuss matters of mutual interest.