March 17, 2020 / 9:08 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Malaysia delays pre-APEC meetings, says committed to hold summit

(Adds details, new cancellations)

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (Reuters) - Malaysia has postponed a series of pre-APEC summit meetings that were to be held this month and the next because of the coronavirus outbreak, it said on Tuesday, but added it remained committed to host the summit expected towards end-2020.

The southeast Asian country said the decision to delay the meetings, some of which were to start on Tuesday, was taken after consulting with all the stakeholders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group.

Some of the meetings could now happen in June, Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) said in a statement.

This year’s APEC summit, which brings together leaders of the 21 member economies, is expected be held in November.

“Malaysia remains fully committed to host APEC in 2020,” MITI said. “Malaysia will also intensify efforts to ensure that there is continuity in the work undertaken by APEC, for this year and beyond.”

Malaysia, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in southeast Asia at more than 500, will impose a two-week movement restrictions starting Wednesday in a bid to contain the contagion. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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