Time For Malaysia To Recognize The 'New' Delhi


(MENAFN- Asia Times) The visit by Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir to New Delhi from November 5-8 was a significant milestone in Malaysia-India relations. Zambry met with his counterpart, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, for the sixth India-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting.

The JCM reviewed the progress of the Enhanced Strategic Partnership, which covers areas of political, defense, security, economic, trade and investment, health, science and technology, culture, tourism and people-to-people ties, and also discussed regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Since the start of the year, there has been a flurry of visits by top Indian ministers to Malaysia. In early June, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan met with his Malaysian counterparts, followed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh in July and Minister of State for External Affairs and Education Rajkumar Ranjan Singh in December.

The visits quite clearly signaled a reset in bilateral relations following the diplomatic row in 2019 arising from then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's remarks about Kashmir and India's Citizenship Amendment Act.

Zambry also mentioned that the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to India is imminent, signifying an upswing in ties.

On the people-to-people front, just this week, Anwar announced that Malaysia would allow citizens of India 30-day visa-free entry to the country with effect from December 1. Given how visa requirements have been one of the most potent deterrents for travel between Malaysia and India, this move signals intent for greater connectivity and desire for enhanced bilateral ties.

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