Eighty-one Malaysians who are stranded in Sri Lanka are expected to return home tomorrow, the Bernama news agency reported.
The Foreign Ministry said the agreement was reached during a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Dinesh Gunawardena, earlier this evening.
“The Foreign Minister extends his gratitude to the government of Sri Lanka for giving permission to a Malindo Air rescue flight to land in Colombo to repatriate 81 stranded Malaysians from Sri Lanka, scheduled on April 14 (tomorrow).
“In his (Gunawardena) response, the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Relations conveyed his appreciation to the government of Malaysia for allowing the same rescue flight to transport two medical kits purchased by Sri Lanka to the country,” it said in a statement issued today.
Wisma Putra said Hishammuddin stated that the immediate action by the Sri Lankan government in rendering the assistance was a testament to the warm and close ties between the two countries.
Besides that, both ministers also discussed bilateral ties and close cooperation between Malaysia and Sri Lanka and they also exchanged views on COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before the call ended, both ministers reiterated their commitment to foster closer bilateral relations and cooperation between Malaysia and Sri Lanka,” it said.
Meanwhile, Hishammuddin also had a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart Dr S. Jaishankar earlier today to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and the issue of stranded Malaysians in India.
“On the matter of stranded nationals, the Foreign Minister extended his sincere appreciation to the government of India for allowing 18 rescue flights to repatriate 2,876 stranded Malaysians from India. Another rescue flight bound for Chennai is scheduled for tomorrow.
“Both ministers also discussed the arrangement for Malaysians still under quarantine in India to be repatriated to Malaysia once their quarantine ended,” it said.
Wisma Putra said in the telephone conversation, both ministers expressed their appreciation to each other’s government for the assistance rendered during this challenging time, particularly to their diaspora residing in Malaysia and India, respectively.
“They also agreed it was critical for Malaysia and India to work together to contain the spread of the virus.
“They reiterated their commitment to overcome the pandemic in the overall interests of both countries as well as the global community,” said Wisma Putra.
Besides that, both ministers shared similar sentiments about the long-standing bilateral relations and strategic partnership between Malaysia and India as well as the people-to-people ties dating back to the early days prior to the independence of both countries.