NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Bernama) — Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said here the question of Malaysia despatching troops to join the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Darfur is dependent on Sudan and the UN.
He said Malaysia had earlier on announced its desire to participate in the peacekeeping operation, its willingness to do so based on a good track record and the integrity of Malaysian peacekeeping troops in previous stints.
However, he added, the UN has informed that a decision had been made and that the peacekeepers from Asian countries would come from Thailand and Bangladesh.
He said the UN arrived at the decision although Sudan had asked for the peacekeepers to also comprise Malaysians.
Syed Hamid said he believed that Darfur would be one of the several issues that would be discussed at the 62nd General Assembly of the UN scheduled to begin here tomorrow.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow and is expected to deliver his speech at the assembly on Thursday.
The other issues expected to be raised at this session include Myanmar, Palestine, Kosovo, the Middle East road map to peace and Iran’s nuclear programme.
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 24 (Bernama) — The Malaysian astronaut to blast off to the International Space Station on Oct 10 will be decided at the last minute after both the country’s candidates are recognised as astronauts.
Prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor would be placed with the first crew for the Soyuz 15-S mission while Captain Dr Faiz Khaleed would join the second crew.
“All the final changes in the selection of the candidate for the mission will be decided by the Russians later. This process is necessary to ensure that the mission proceeds smoothly and successfully,” Abdullah said when making the announcement live from his office here.
The two Malaysian astronauts will be at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, from Friday to undergo final training before the launch on Oct 10.