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COVID-19: Malaysians stranded in Iran scheduled to return home tomorrow, says Kamarudin

COVID-19: Malaysians stranded in Iran scheduled to return home tomorrow, says Kamarudin
The government is bringing home 46 Malaysians stranded in Iran on a special flight that is scheduled to touch down at KLIA2 at 6.10am Sunday. - File Pic
KUALA LUMPUR: The government is bringing home 46 Malaysians stranded in Iran on a special flight that is scheduled to touch down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) at 6.10am tomorrow.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said the AirAsia flight had departed Tehran at 11.45am today with all Malaysians on board, as well as eight Singaporeans and an Indonesian, as a result of high-level discussions undertaken between all governments concerned in a spirit of ASEAN togetherness.
He said the discussions involved a video conference between Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his Indonesian counterpart Ibu Retno Marsudi yesterday, and a March 11 telephone call between Hishammuddin and his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan.

Kamarudin said this during a media conference today that was broadcast through Wisma Putra’s Facebook page.
The minister who is the Foreign Ministry’s COVID-19 Task Force chairman, said the government will repatriate a total of 1,116 Malaysians stranded in India, in the near future.

He explained that the repatriation will be carried out in phases, with the use of six AirAsia aircraft and two Malaysia Airlines (MAS) aircraft, specially deployed to bring the Malaysians home.

Kamarudin also expressed his appreciation for the cooperation reached with private entities during this time of national need.

On the situation in Italy, Kamarudin said the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) had revoked  landing permission granted to all carriers including the chartered flight that was supposed to have brought home Malaysians who are stranded there.

“For the moment, Wisma Putra is trying its best to secure special permission from the Italian government, that will allow us to continue with the repatriations from Italy, as soon as possible. Any developments on this situation will be shared in due course,” he said, explaining that according to initial planning, a total of 82 Malaysians who had registered with the Malaysian Embassy in Rome, were supposed to have returned to Malaysia on Monday (March 23).