FILE PHOTO: Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Joseph Sipalan
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The United States is considering hosting an APEC summit in the country in January after Chile pulled out, Malaysia’s foreign minister said on Thursday citing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Chile canceled the Nov. 16-17 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit because of violent protests. Malaysia is the host of the next APEC summit scheduled for end-2020.
“Secretary Pompeo made a call to me while we were in Bangkok asking for Malaysia’s position, because Chile is not able to host APEC this November and that the U.S. is thinking of hosting APEC sometime in January in the U.S.,” Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told reporters.
“But I have informed the American officials who were in Bangkok that we don’t think it’s a good idea.”
He did not elaborate.
The U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abdullah was in Bangkok earlier this month for the East Asian Summit and a meeting of the United States with Southeast Asian leaders. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was the highest-ranking official in the U.S. delegation.
(This version of the story fixes paragraph 6 to clarify comment was sought from U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur)
Reporting by Joseph Sipalan and Krishna N. Das; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan