DAKAR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad flew into Dakar on Wednesday to attend a conference on Africa and had the honour of being greeted on arrival by Senegal President Macky Sall himself.
The special aircraft carrying the Malaysian prime minister, who is making a two-day working visit to Senegal, touched down at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Airport at about 5.30pm pm local time (1.30 am Thursday in Malaysia).
Dr Mahathir is accompanied on the trip by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Others on hand to welcome the Malaysian couple were Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya as well as the country’s ambassador to Senegal, Dr Shazelina Zainul Abidin.
Dr Mahathir was then taken in a motorcade to the Presidential Palace for a bilateral meeting with the president that, according to the Foreign Ministry, would touch on matters of mutual interest with the objective of enhancing bilateral ties as well as collaboration on pertinent regional and global issues.
Dr Mahathir has the distinction of being the only Asian head of government taking part in the Third International Conference on the Emergence of Africa (ICEA-III) at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Centre (CICAD) here from Jan 17 to 19.
The highlight of Dr Mahathir’s attendance at ICEA-III would be the high-level panel discussion which will take place after the conference opening ceremony on Thursday.
The 93-year-old prime minister is expected to be joined by African heads of state from countries such as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Rwanda as well as Senegal.
With the theme of ‘Emergence, Private Sector and Inclusiveness’, the conference provides the opportunity for Dr Mahathir to showcase the success of the public-private partnership in Malaysia.
The prime minister can also be expected to share Malaysia’s ideas and vision on the economic and trade partnership between the Southeast Asian country and the emerging African nations.
This will be the first appearance of the prime minister at ICEA since the convening of the conference in 2015. — Bernama