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SAMARKAND: Malaysia and Uzbekistan can form special strategic partnerships in new areas, including those related to Muslim interests, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the two Muslim-majority countries could collaborate as a strong team in many areas that have peculiar interests to Muslims.

“Not only cooperation and hospitality on halal development, halal certification and halal industry, but we can also cooperate in culture and art to a level coordinated by senior ministers (from both countries),” he said in his remarks at the high-level Uzbekistan-Malaysia Business Forum at the Silk Road Samarkand Complex here on Saturday.

About 200 companies from both countries participated in the business forum, which was also attended by Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev.

Anwar said Malaysia and Uzbekistan could also focus on education and the new field of digital technology, especially Artificial Intelligence.

“Our future capabilities depend on how we build our strength (together). We should always think we can complement each other,” he said.

Anwar is currently in Uzbekistan for a three-day official visit that began with his arrival in Tashkent on Friday.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan; Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz; Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar are part of the Malaysian delegation accompanying the Prime Minister.