KUALA LUMPUR – United States President Donald J. Trump has expressed his nation’s gratitude over Malaysia’s help to locate 10 sailors unaccounted for after a U.S. Navy vessel was involved in a collision off Johor on Monday.
“President Trump expressed the United States’ gratitude for Malaysia’s efforts to recover the fallen U.S. sailors of the USS John S. McCain,” the U.S. Embassy @usembassykl tweeted today.
The USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, had collided with a merchant vessel, Alnic MC, at about 5.30 am on Monday in the Ramunia Bay waters, resulting in five U.S. sailors injured and 10 missing.
Malaysia had joined a multinational search effort to locate the missing sailors in an area east of Singapore and peninsular Malaysia stretching about 900 square nautical miles around the location of the collision.
In an update on its website last night, the United States Seventh Fleet said it had suspended the search for nine missing sailors in a 2,100 sq mile area east of the Melaka Strait and Singapore after it recovered the remains of a sailor.
It said U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers will continue the search and recovery efforts inside the flooded compartments of the destroyer.
The U.S. Embassy also said that Trump was looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the White House in Washington on Sept 12.
The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Najib will make a working visit to Washington, D.C. at the invitation of Trump.
It said Malaysia and the United States looked forward to celebrating the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties, and that the relations had been enhanced under Najib’s leadership to a comprehensive partnership based on shared interests.
The US Embassy also tweeted a picture of Trump, Malaysian Ambassador to the United States Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique and former Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces Gen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin at the Oval Office of the White House. – BERNAMA