Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right) today received a courtesy call from his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Omer Arteh (left), who is on his maiden visit to Malaysia. Pix by Yazit Razali

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today received a courtesy call from his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Omer Arteh, who is on his maiden visit to Malaysia.

The meeting, which began at 10.30am and lasted half an hour, served as a reaffirmation of both governments' desire to further strengthen bilateral relations.

The leaders touched on various areas of mutual interest, including trade, investment, defence and education.

"Both sides also exchanged views on international issues of mutual concern," a press release issued by Zahid's office said today.

Omer is on a private visit to Malaysia, from March 9 to 15. It is his first visit to the country since becoming Somalia's deputy prime minister in Feb 2015.

Total bilateral trade between Malaysia and Somalia stands at RM344 million and trade items comprise machinery, equipment and tools, metal, and electrical and electronic products.

However, no exports from Malaysia to Somalia were recorded last year.

There are currently 1,531 students from Somalia studying here. Of these, 715 are studying in public universities, and another 816 are at private institutions of higher learning.

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