US thinking of hosting Apec summit in January: Saifuddin

07 Nov 2019 / 19:05 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States is contemplating hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in January next year, according to Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pix).

He cited communication with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on this matter.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby here today, the minister disclosed that Pompeo had called him in Bangkok asking for Malaysia’s position as Chile was not able to host the gathering this month.

“But I informed the American officials who were in Bangkok that we don’t think it is a good idea,“ he said.

Saifuddin had accompanied Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the 35th Asean Summit and related summits in the Thai capital recently.

He said an invitation has been extended for Dr Mahathir to attend the proposed meeting in the US.

“I’m not privy to the letter,“ he said when queried on the government’s stand on the invitation.

Rocked by mass protests and street violence, Chile took the decision to cancel its hosting of the Apec summit.

Malaysia is slated to host the summit in 2020.

Saifuddin was also queried on the reported detention of Mu Sochua, the deputy leader of Cambodia’s banned opposition party, by Malaysia.

“I think that the authorities, as far as I know, they simply want to interview her, they probably want to know what’s her intention of coming (to Malaysia). But as far as Wisma Putra (Foreign Ministry) is concerned, we’re not in the position to deport people and neither do we like doing that.

“We make our own decisions, not because of any requests or any kind of interference from foreign countries,“ he said.

It was reported that Mu Sochua, 65, flew into Kuala Lumpur on her US passport and was being questioned at the airport. - Bernama

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