Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is set to end a two-day trip to Southeast Asia today with stops in Malaysia and Singapore, reported the German News Agency (dpa).
The top diplomat is to meet representatives of Muslim organisations in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, for a discussion early today afternoon to exchange views on the Gaza war.
Separate meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan are planned afterwards.
Besides relations with China, the focus of the political discussions is likely to be on economic and climate issues.
Malaysia is Germany’s most important trading partner in Southeast Asia. The country has been an important investment location for German companies for many years and is a future driver for the necessary diversification of supply chains, Baerbock said before departing for Kuala Lumpur.
At the same time, she said it is important “to better understand the view of a predominantly Muslim country on the war in the Middle East — and also to promote our point of view”.
A trip to neighbouring Singapore is planned for today evening, with Baerbock due to meet Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan for dinner.
Singapore is “a gateway to the world”, Baerbock said, describing the city-state as a hub of the global infrastructure on which an export economy like Germany depends.
Singapore is also a melting pot of different cultures and ideas, the German diplomat added, calling the cosmopolitan country, which maintains close ties with China, “an invaluable bridge builder”.
Baerbock met with Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo in Manila and discussed territorial disputes in the South China Sea during a stop in the Philippines yesterday