Monday, April 12, 2010

Malaysian Prime Minister's US Visit

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's visit to the United States this time, the second time after he took over the prime ministership, is expected to bring huge meaning to the relations between Malaysia and the United States, as well as the United States with the Islamic world.

Objective of Present Tour
It is understood that President Barack Obama will ask advice from Kuala Lumpur in an endeavor to mend the relations of the United States with Islamic countries in line with the open attitude toward the Islamic world, which he expressed during his visit to Al-Azhar University, Egypt recently.

Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, Malaysian Ambassador to the United States, hinted the matter to the Malaysian media persons who were here to cover Najib's official visit to the United States starting 11 April until 16 April. The first time he visited United States in the capacity of a prime minister was in November 2009.

The prime minister arrived here at noon on 11 April. He will participate at the Nuclear Security Summit here from 12 to 13 April on Obama's invitation.

He explained: "The change is drastic...the way the United States sees Malaysia as a developed Islamic country and an example for other Islamic countries. Of course, the government will consider to 'study' the relations with the United States."

Bilateral Discussion
Jamaludin said that a development like this was evident when Malaysia -- a nonnuclear country -- was invited to attend the summit. A total of 44 world leaders were invited to attend the summit.

In fact, he explained, Najib was the only leader from Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and one of the two leaders from Asia to have a bilateral meeting with Obama.
Najib-Obama meeting will be held right before the commencement of the Nuclear Security Summit. China is the second country from Asia, which is to have a bilateral discussion with the United States.

Jamaludin explained: "Obama's invitation to the prime minister to attend the summit is an honor to Malaysia because we are not a nuclear country. And it is seen as a leap in terms of Malaysia-US bilateral ties, and also the relations between the United States and Islamic countries in general."

Obama will only have bilateral discussion with nine of the leaders attending the summit. The summit, among others, aims to focus on the matter of nuclear security in addition to ensuring that nuclear technology will not fall into the hands of terrorists.

In addition to Obama, during the luncheon on 12 April, the prime minister will also meet with US Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, and Howard Berman, chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Handling Threat and Security
In the context of handling threat and security, the prime minister will deliver his policy speech revolving around Malaysia's experience and achievement in handling the threat of communist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) here on 14 April.

Tun Hanif Omar, former inspector general of police, and General (retired) Tan Sri Muhammad Hashim Ali, former Armed Forces chief, are also invited by the CSIS to the event.

Jamaludin also said that the prime minister would take the opportunity to explain the framework of the New Economic Model, which was launched at the end of last month when meeting investors and businessmen here and in New York, as a step to attract investment, particularly from the United States.

Meeting With Other Personalities
Among personalities he will meet include World Bank President Robert Zoellick and the chief executive officers of Coca-Cola, Intel, Motorola, and Conoco Phillips.

As a step to enhance Malaysian tourism and culture, accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the prime minister will launch the Festival of 1Malaysia Faces, a program organized by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture.

He said: "Our tourism sector does not have much promotion in the US and this is the best opportunity to promote Malaysia."

No comments: