ANKARA: Malaysia and Turkiye have agreed to continue to work together to ensure their food supply chains remain adequate and stable.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he and Turkyish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concurred that the food security issue had become increasingly worrisome due to the pandemic.

“In fact, it has become more critical now because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” he told a joint press conference with Erdogan at the Presidential Complex here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri, who is on a four-day official visit to the republic at the invitation of Erdogan, said among the immediate steps taken by Malaysia and Turkiye to tackle the issue was boosting trade in food products and maintaining their cooperation in sharing information and experiences.

At the same time, the two countries will intensify R&D in the food sector to enhance their capacity to produce food resources and ensure its stability and sustainability.

The Prime Minister said he also conveyed to Erdogan the good news that the Malaysian government had accorded recognition to degrees from 208 universities in Turkiye.

“I am confident that this will give a boost to international standard research products from universities in both countries. This is the (kind of) news Malaysians who had studied or are still pursuing their studies in this country have been looking forward to,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said he and Erdogan also agreed to step up cooperation in the defence industry.

“I informed the President that during this visit I had the opportunity to hold meetings with and make visits to several defence industry players in Turkiye,” said Ismail Sabri, who visited two major Turkish defence and aerospace industry companies – MKE Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries on Wednesday.

The two countries were also in agreement on the need for continued support for the Palestinian struggle, said Ismail Sabri.

“The two nations, along with like-minded countries, will continue to coordinate efforts towards seeking an end to the occupation by the Zionist regime and in realising Palestine as an independent and sovereign country,” he said.

On the Russia-Ukraine issue, the Prime Minister said he praised Erdogan’s efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and that they both agreed that all parties involved should take immediate action to settle the conflict, which has threatened world peace.

The Prime Minister said that in his meeting with Erdogan he congratulated the President on the United Nations’ recognition of the country’s name change from Turkey to Turkiye. — Bernama