New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur signal thaw in ties1 min read . Updated: 17 Mar 2020, 12:48 AM IST
Bilateral ties between India and Malaysia were reviewed, and ways to further strengthen them discussed during meeting between Malaysian foreign minister Hussein and Indian high commissioner Mridul Kumar
NEW DELHI : India and Malaysia signalled a thaw in ties on Monday with the new Malaysian foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein receiving Indian high commissioner Mridul Kumar and describing the meeting as an important point in India-Malaysia relations.
The meeting between Kumar and Hussein comes after a testy period in ties between the two countries during the prime ministership of Mahathir Mohamad, who was seen as leaning towards Pakistan and critical of India on issues such as Kashmir and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA.
“Received the High Commissioner of #India, His Excellency Mridul Kumar in @MalaysiaMFA today. This marks an important point in Malaysia-India relations where we both agreed to enhance the strategic partnership between both nations," said Hussein in a Twitter post.
In response, Kumar in his Twitter post said: “It was a real honour to be received by Foreign Minister @HishammuddinH2O today. Handed over message of congratulations from @DrSJaishankar. Reviewed bilateral ties between India and Malaysia, and discussed ways and means to further strengthen them. @MEAIndia @MalaysiaMFA."
The downturn in ties during Mahathir’s tenure was despite PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Malaysia in May 2018 to greet Mahathir days after his election.
Mahathir raised the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly last September and accused India of “invading and occupying the country" of Jammu and Kashmir. India had then slammed the remarks as unhelpful. Undeterred, Mahathir criticized New Delhi’s passage of CAA that seeks to fast track citizenship of persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
India had retaliated by placing curbs on the import of Malaysian palm oil. Now, with the new government of PM Muhyiddin Yassin in office, after the surprise collapse of the coalition headed by Mahathir last month, both countries seem to be seeking a fresh start.