Readout of the President's Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak of Malaysia
President Obama met with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia today to discuss matters of mutual interest including, non-proliferation, trade and investment, human rights, Afghanistan, and Iran. Malaysia’s economic vibrancy, democracy, and willingness to cooperate on key security and multilateral issues form the basis for a strong bilateral partnership with the United States. Such a partnership is consistent with, and a critical component of, the Administration’s intent to strengthen further our long-standing ties with Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The President congratulated Prime Minister Najib for recent action on the Strategic Goods Act, which will strengthen the ability of Malaysian authorities to take action against individuals and entities engaged in proliferation. The Prime Minister shares U.S concern about the destabilizing effects caused by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and welcomed U.S. leadership and capacity-building efforts in this area. The President and Prime Minister also agreed to work together to further strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to achieve a successful NPT Review Conference next month.
The Prime Minister discussed his New Economic Model policy and both leaders noted the shared interest in deepening the bilateral economic relationship and support for broader regional economic integration. Malaysia is currently the 18th largest trading partner of the United States with approximately $34 billion in two-way goods trade in 2009. The two leaders also noted the broadening cooperation between the United States and Malaysia in entrepreneurship, technology, and education.
The two leaders have a shared vision for a stable, secure, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan. Prime Minister Najib informed President Obama that at the request of the Government of Afghanistan, Malaysia recently deployed a team to assess possible ways to contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. In addition to the training of Afghan teachers and public officials which Malaysia is currently undertaking, the Prime Minister stated Malaysia’s readiness to consider capacity building in cooperation with Afghanistan through the training of police, military personnel and civilian administrators.
The President and the Prime Minister agreed on the importance of Iran strictly abiding by its obligations under the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The two Leaders also agreed on the need for the international community to send a clear signal to Iran that while it has the right to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Iran should not use this right to develop nuclear weapons capability as stated in UNSC and IAEA resolutions.
Prime Minister Najib informed President Obama that Malaysia has made significant efforts to curb human trafficking, and is taking appropriate measures in combating this heinous crime.
Prime Minister Najib conveyed his support of President Obama’s aspiration to start a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, as reflected in his speech in Cairo in June 2009, and offered Malaysia’s assistance to cooperate with the United States to engage the Muslim world.
The two leaders agreed that the positive effects on regional peace and stability and on the prosperity of both nations warrant continued efforts to further strengthen the growing partnership between the United States and Malaysia.