Malaysia hands over ACI chairmanship to the Philippines

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Malaysia hands over ACI chairmanship to the Philippines

It was honour for Malaysia to serve as the Chair of the ASEAN Islamabad Committee, says Ambassador Mazlan

Ansar M Bhatti

Islamabad – The High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan, Ambassador Mohammad Azhar Mazlan officially handed over the Chairmanship of the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad (ACI) to the Ambassador of the Philippines to Pakistan, Ambassador Maria Agnes M. Cervantes during a ceremony held at the High Commission of Malaysia in Islamabad on 22 January 2024.

The ceremony, attended by all ASEAN Heads of Mission in Islamabad, marked a significant transition in leadership within the ASEAN Committee. The outgoing Chair, Malaysia, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity accorded to him to lead the committee and extended congratulations and heartfelt wishes to the incoming Chair, the Philippines, for a successful tenure.

During the event, High Commissioner Azhar Mazlan stated, “It has been an honour and privilege for Malaysia to serve as the Chair of the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad. As a group, the committee has put its collective efforts and worked towards culminating the bonds between ASEAN member states and Pakistan. In this regard, I would like to expressed my utmost gratitude to all ASEAN Heads of Mission for their support, and I am confident that under the leadership of Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Philippines, she will continue these efforts with dedication in carrying the ASEAN’s flag and make ASEAN more visible in Pakistan”.

The incoming Chair, Ambassador of the Philippines, expressed her appreciation for the warm welcome and pledged to build upon the achievements of Malaysia’s leadership. “I am deeply honored to accept the responsibility of chairing the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad. I look forward to working closely with my fellow ASEAN Heads of Mission to further enhance collaboration and promote the interests of our Member States in Pakistan.

Malaysia conveyed its best wishes and steadfast support to the Philippines for a successful and fruitful term as Chair and expressed optimism for a more vibrant and dynamic ASEAN Committee in Islamabad in 2024.

Apart from successfully organising the ASEAN Day celebration in August 2023 and several important engagements with the stakeholders in Pakistan, the Committee in collaboration with the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) also established the permanent installation of the ASEAN Book Corner at the ISSI library in October 2023. This establishment aims to provide avenue for intellectual discourse and exchange of views to advance further the interest of both sides in the context of regional cooperation.

It also symbolises the deep understanding and connection between ASEAN and Pakistan diplomatic relations, moving forward.