LONDON: Malaysia appreciates the United Kingdom’s assistance, including financial aid, in addressing issues involving the Rohingya refugees, according to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She said the financial aid provided by the United Kingdom was to finance humanitarian, education and health programmes in Malaysia, as well as for the operation of the Malaysian Field Hospital at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
“I am thankful to United Kingdom for helping the Rohingya refugees, now totalling almost 100,000 people (in Malaysia),“ she told Malaysian journalists covering her first official visit to the United Kingdom on Thursday night.
Earlier, Dr Wan Azizah had a discussion on bilateral relations between Kuala Lumpur and London with United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt.
During the 30-minute meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Dr Wan Azizah was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Senator Datuk Marzuki Yahya, and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, as well as senior officers of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
On the issue of the Rohingya refugees, Dr Wan Azizah said the financial assistance from the UK brought relief to the Malaysian government which has spent about RM10 million a year on addressing the plight of the refugees.
However, no details on the assistance and financial aid by UK was given.
During the meeting with Hunt, Dr Wan Azizah said they exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues.
“Among the issues discussed was on the proposed visit by Jeremy Hunt to Malaysia early next year,“ she added.
Dr Wan Azizah said they also discussed cooperation in tourism, marketing of oil palm in Europe and issues related to chemical weapons.
On the marketing of oil palm, the deputy prime minister said she had requested the UK government to support Malaysian oil palm industry.
The UK government, she said, had asked for Malaysia to support the implementation of the legislative-based decision by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the eradication of chemical weapons. — Bernama