WASHINGTON DC: United States President Donald Trump said it was “a great honour” to have Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the US and White House.
In his remarks before the bilateral meeting yesterday at the White House’s Cabinet room, Trump personally told Najib that he was honoured to have the prime minister and the Malaysian delegate over in a historic meeting marking the two countries’ 60 years of bilateral ties.
“I just want to say it is an honour to have you here..It is an honour to have your delegation with us,” he said.
Trump, who again mentioned that it was “a great honour” to have Najib in the White House at the end of his remarks, thanked Malaysia for its investments in the US.
“Malaysia is a massive investor in terms of stocks and bonds and exchange…they (Malaysian investors) have to be very happy as we are hitting new highs almost on a weekly basis.
“And we are very proud of what has happened in our stock market since I became president.”
The meeting between the two leaders and delegates from both countries marked a huge milestone in bilateral ties.
Najib, who is on a three-day working visit here on Trump’s invitation, is only the second Asean leader to be personally invited by Trump to the White House.
It came as a clear recognition by the US, coming in the first year of Trump’s presidency.
Trump also praised Najib for Malaysia’s firm stance against terrorism.
“The prime minister has a major role in not allowing ISIS or Daesh as you call it and others to exist.
“He has been very very strong on terrorism in Malaysia and a great supporter on that standpoint..and that is very important to the United States.”
Trump also praised Najib’s stand on North Korea, which he said was also in tandem with the US.
“He does not do business with North Korea any longer, and we find that to be very important.”
Najib arrived at the White House here at 11.45am on Tuesday (11.45pm Malaysian time) and was greeted by Trump at the West Wing awning.
The prime minister held a four-eyed meeting at the Oval Office before the delegation meeting between the two countries.
Apart from President Trump, the US was represented by among others, Vice-President Michael Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor Lieutenant-General H.R. McMaster, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Lakhdhir.
Accompanying Najib at the meeting were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, National Security Council Director-General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim, and Malaysia’s ambassador to the US, Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique.
The two leaders displayed warmth as they greeted each other on arrival.
Trump broke convention when he accompanied Najib to the door when leaving the White House.
Officials said Trump, who normally saw off guests at the main floor, remarked that Najib was “a friend”. -NST