Oct 18, 2006

Abdullah Says He Will Meet Dr Mahathir

Extracted from BERNAMA
Abdullah Says He Will Meet Dr Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 18 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Wednesday he was ready to meet former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and expressed the hope that the meeting would bring mutual benefit.

The prime minister said no conditions would be set for the four-eyed meeting. He declined to reveal the date or the place of the meeting. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is expected to fall next Tuesday.

"This is a meeting between the both of us. It is not necessary to have a third party," he told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont of Thailand who had called on him at his office, here.

Abdullah said he would not raise any issue at the meeting with Dr Mahathir.

The meeting has come about following a suggestion by Mubarak, the council of former elected representatives, to ease the tension in the relationship between the two men.

Dr Mahathir said Tuesday that he was ready to meet the prime minister before Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Tension developed in the relationship between the two men after Dr Mahathir openly criticised the leadership of Abdullah, including the latter's decision to cancel the proposed bridge to replace the Johor Causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore.

Asked whether he was hopeful that all the criticism directed at him would cease following the meeting, Abdullah said: "God willing".

Abdullah also confirmed that attempts made for them to meet earlier failed owing to a lack of suitable dates.

Dr Mahathir reportedly said yesterday that he would raise again the issues that he has been keeping in his heart since he left the government.


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