Malaysia will hand over the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to Cuba at the NAM Summit in Havana next week, Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Rastam Mohd Isa said.
He said Malaysia was entrusted with the chairmanship in 2003 when Bangladesh and Jordan could not assume the chairmanship as agreed.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, who was NAM chairman 25 years ago, will again assume leadership of the movement from next week.
However, it is still not clear whether he will be able to attend the summit from Sept 11 to 16 as he is recuperating after undergoing intestinal surgery in July, Rastam said.
Referring to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Rastam said Malaysia would continue to hold the chair of the OIC until Senegal was ready to organise the next summit in the coming year or in 2008.
He also said Malaysia would open a consulate in western metropolis Mumbai, India. "The Cabinet recently endorsed the setting up of the consulate because it felt we cannot ignore the growing importance of India as well as China in the global economy," he said.