Indian, Malaysian Foreign Ministers Meet In Azerbaijan To Diffuse Tensions

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday met his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting in Azerbaijan.

Malaysia Looks To Ease Tensions With India After New Delhi Threatens To Curb Imports

“Had an open and candid conversation with my Malaysian counterpart @saifuddinabd on outstanding issues,” Jaishankar tweeted

Jaishankar’s meeting with his counterpart Abdullah comes at a time of tension between India and Malaysia after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad raised Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations General Assembly last month. Mohamad said that Jammu and Kashmir had been “invaded and occupied.” by India which irked New Delhi.

Earlier, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad said that he would not retract his criticism of Indian actions in Jammu and Kashmir despite Indian traders calling for a boycott of Malaysian palm oil.

We speak our minds, and we don’t retract or change,” Mahathir told reporters outside parliament. “What we are saying is we should all abide by resolutions of the (United Nations). Otherwise, what is the use of the UN?”

Mahathir said Malaysia would study the impact of the boycott called by the Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors’ Association of India and look at ways to address the issue. New Delhi has so far declined to comment on the trade spat.

Malaysia Looks To Ease Tensions With India After New Delhi Threatens To Curb Imports

“This is not the Indian government, so we have to find out how we can communicate with these people because trade is a two-way thing and it is bad to have what amounts to a trade war,” Mahathir said.

Malaysia’s exports to India were worth $10.8 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, while imports totalled $6.4 billion, according to Indian government data.