WASHINGTON DC – Existing good bilateral relations between Malaysia and the United States have gained momentum under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and President Barack Obama, said Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He noted that the two countries had forged close relations across many fields since diplomatic relations were established in 1957.
Speaking at the Malaysia Day and Malaysian Armed Forces Day celebrations at the Malaysian embassy here yesterday, he said Obama’s state visit to Malaysia in April added impetus to Malaysia-US ties as they were upgraded to the level of “comprehensive partnership”.
More than 800 people including Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel R. Russel, US State Department officials, diplomats and Malaysians from around the Washington DC area attended the event.
On his visit to New York City and the US capital, Ahmad Zahid said it had been beneficial in a bid to strengthen security ties between the two countries, including in facing threats of transnational crime.
Ahmad Zahid noted that addressing transnational crime in an effective manner would require a coordinated and collective response among states.
He also visited the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in Reston, Virginia.
During the visit, he was briefed on CBP’s National Targeting Center whose tasks include identifying high-risk passengers and cargo at airports across the US.
Meanwhile, Malaysian ambassador to the United States, Datuk Awang Adek Hussin said Malay was playing a big role at the international level, in line with its position as the chair of Asean in 2015.
He said the embassy had met with the representatives of other countries to garner support for Malaysia’s bid to be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. – Bernama