Saturday, 10 July, 2004

PM to raise terror issue during visit

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s visit to the United States, France and Britain next week will provide an opportunity for Malaysia to clearly spell out its stand and views on the international terrorism issue, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Friday.
He said Abdullah would also be able to explain the role of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in combating international terrorism since there had been a lot of issues regarding terrorism.
“Since Sept 11 (2001), the incidence of terrorism has not actually reduced, it has increased.
“I think it is good for the Prime Minister to exchange views on how we can deal with Islamic issues, how we can avoid the perception of prejudice, perception of marginalisation, of degradation of Muslims,” he told reporters here.
He hoped that more dialogues with the United States and Western countries would soften their attitude towards Muslims compared to one perception, that all Muslims were terrorists and the ones who caused such problems in the world.
On the establishment of Palestine, Syed Hamid said whether the subject would be brought up during the visit or not was up to the leaders.
He said there was no specific agenda on that issue but as Chairman of the NAM and the OIC, it would be an opportunity for the Prime Minister to convey his desire that the time-line for the establishment of the Palestinian state should not be deferred and the “roadmap” should be adhered to.
“He has met President Bush on other occasions, so I don’t think there will be any restrictions, the only restriction is time,” he said.
Abdullah’s five-day visit begins on July 18. He is expected to meet President George W. Bush at the White House on July 19.
After his three-day visit to the US, the Prime Minister is scheduled to meet French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair the following day. - Bernama


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