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Indonesian president to be conferred Malaysia's highest award


January 8, 2008

Indonesian president to be conferred Malaysia's highest award

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who will be on a working visit to Malaysia from Jan 10 to 12, will be conferred the highest state award by the King Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the conferment ceremony would be held at Istana Negara on Thursday. He said during his visit, President Susilo and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would take the opportunity to hold their annual discussions.

"Both leaders will discuss matters of mutual interest, including the economy, social issues and regional and international politics," he told reporters after a meet-the-people session in Kampung Sungai Seluyut here.

"We want to maintain the close ties with our most important neighbour in Asean. We want to continue to have a conducive climate of understanding with Indonesia which can help strengthen bilateral ties."

Syed Hamid, who is also Kota Tinggi Member of Parliament, said Kuala Lumpur had always been sincere towards Jakarta and did not want any perception of strained relations between the two countries to exist.

He said Malaysia hoped that President Susilo's visit would contribute to building understanding and cordial ties between the two neighbours.

Efforts to create better understanding between the two countries also included holding discussions between the parliamentarians, media and non-governmental organisations of both countries, he said.

As part of President Susilo's visit to Malaysia, the Indonesian leader and Abdullah will be attending a concert at Angkasapuri on Friday featuring artistes of both countries, in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th independence anniversary.

Meanwhile, asked about the status of discussions between both countries over the Ambalat territorial water dispute near the Sulawesi Sea believed to be rich in oil and gas, Syed Hamid said it would take a long time to be resolved.

"What is important is for both countries to agree to solve it amicably," he added.

Courtesy Bernama

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