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White House Invite Shows Importance Of Malaysia

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DATUK Seri Najib Tun Razak’s working visit to Washington will see him in powerful company as his host President Donald Trump has lined up his senior Cabinet members and close advisers to meet the Prime Minister.

The meeting at the White House tomorrow will start with a four-eyed meeting between Trump and Najib in the Oval Office.

This will be followed by a delegation meeting with Trump’s administration members, including Vice-President Mike Pence, State Secretary Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Chief of Staff Gen John Kelly, National Security Adviser Lt-Gen H.R. McMaster and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.

Malaysian ambassador in Washington Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique, in a briefing to the media on the visit, said both sides would take stock of bilateral relations, enhancing cooperation in eco­nomy, security, defence, education, counter-terrorism, immigration and science and technology.

“We are pleased that the Prime Minister is invited to the White House within the first year of the new presidency.

“This reflects the importance accorded by the United States to one of its key strategic partners in the region,” he added.

Another important engagement scheduled to take place is when the Prime Minister meets the chairman and members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations at the Capitol building on Wednesday.

This meeting is significant as the 200-year-old committee has long been an instrumental body in deve­loping and shaping US foreign policy.

Najib said in a Facebook posting yesterday that although Malaysia may be small in size compared to the United States, it played an important role to the US government as a trade and political partner in South-East Asia.

“During this visit, I will discuss with President Trump on regional anti-terror issues and the humanitarian crisis involving the Rohingya in Myanmar,” he said.

Najib is also expected to meet the Malaysian diaspora during the visit and deliver key messages in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebrations.

There are about 28,000 Malaysians living in the United States. -THE STAR

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