Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has arrived in Malaysia to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 at the invitation of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking to reporters at the airport before leaving the country, Rouhani said pursuing the policy of “pivot to the East and closer ties with major Asian countries” has always been among the Islamic Republic’s main objectives.
“The visits to Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo, which are being made at the invitation of the senior officials of the two countries, are in line with this policy,” Rouhani added.
After attending the KL Summit in the Malaysian capital, Rouhani is to visit Tokyo, the capital of Japan, at the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Highlighting the economic relations and investment cooperation between Iran and Japan after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, including the close environmental consultations at present, the president said the “cruel US pressures and illegal sanctions” have caused a reduction in the ties between Tehran and Tokyo.
He pointed to the illegal US sanctions that have adversely affected Iran’s interaction with other countries, and said they would not last long.
“This (American) move and the sanctions won’t be steady, and all countries in the world want to have close and good relations with Iran, particularly the countries with which we’ve had good ties traditionally,” Rouhani added.
On the visit to Malaysia for participation in the KL Summit 2019, Rouhani said the heads of a number of major Muslim states would attend the summit, including those of Turkey, Pakistan, Qatar, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The summit will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from December 18 to 21. Over 400 people, including 250 leaders, politicians, and thinkers from 52 countries, will attend the event.
Rouhani, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan are among the notable Islamic leaders expected to attend the KL summit, according to local reports.
The Iranian president is to deliver a speech at the KL Summit and elaborate on the Islamic Republic’s regional and international policies. He will also hold bilateral meetings with some of the leaders and officials attending the event in order to discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest.
Rouhani will also hold a meeting with Iranian expatriates living in Malaysia.
In a video message posted on the official KL Summit 2019 Twitter account on Saturday, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the conference will be a significant forum for Muslim leaders to discuss the current situation faced by Muslim community around the world.
“The Muslims are labelled as terrorists, and there is now a feeling of fear of Islam. It is quite obvious to everybody that the situation is getting worse. On the other hand, that oppression does not seem to worry anyone,” Mahathir said.
The Kuala Lumpur Summit is an international platform for Muslim leaders, intellectuals and scholars from around the world to discuss and exchange ideas about issues revolving in the Muslim world, according to its website.