Fostering breakthrough ties with EU thru basketball diplomacy – Saifuddin

By , in Nation on .

Putrajaya, Nov 27 — Foreign Minister Dato Saifuddin Abdullah has affirmed Malaysia’s commitment to strengthening the partnership between Malaysia and the European Union (EU).

Following a courtesy call from the European Union Ambassador to Malaysia, Michalis Rokas, Dato Saifuddin said Malaysia and the EU will work closely to improve relations on a wide range of issues.

In a series of tweets, Dato Saifuddin stated that “we affirmed commitments to further strengthen partnership between Malaysia and the EU in a broad range of areas from palm oil to youth & women empowerment, CyberSecurity, Peaceful Coexistence & Cultural Diplomacy.”


According to Dato Saifuddin, he had also offered to ‘belanja’ Michalis Rokas, an avid basketball fan, to some durian/cendol as well as to play a round of basketball, to which Rokas agreed.

A friendly game between European Union’s top diplomat and Malaysia’s Foreign Minister is expected sometime in January 2022, further leveraging and enhancing Malaysia’s influence, reputation as well as advancing its national interests thru sports diplomacy to maximize trade, tourism, and investment opportunities.

Bilateral trade between the EU and Malaysia is dominated by industrial products with the EU being Malaysia’s fifth-largest trading partner (after China, Singapore, South Korea, and the US), accounting for 7.4% of Malaysia’s total trade.


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