Najib to attend US-Asean summit in Sunnylands, California

Obama and Razak shake hands after their bilateral meeting before the start of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak shake hands after their bilateral meeting before the start of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will start a 7-day working visit to Los Angeles, Sunnylands and San Francisco in the United States from 11th February onwards.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement today said Najib is scheduled to participate in the US-Asean Leaders Summit in Sunnylands, California, next Monday.

The prime minister is also scheduled to meet with the Malaysian diaspora and students in Los Angeles, and will hold a roundtable meeting with fund managers, captains of industry, as well as visit Apple Inc and Tesla Motors in San Francisco. He will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and government officials.

According to the statement, the purpose of the US-Asean Leaders Summit is to commemorate the elevation of US-Asean dialogue relations to a strategic
partnership.

It will also serve as an ideal setting for Asean and US leaders to engage in both formal and informal exchanges especially on Asean-US cooperation as well as regional and international issues.

The summit programme will be divided into two sessions, namely promoting an innovative, entrepreneurial Asean Economic Community as well as protecting peace, prosperity, and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The conception for US-Asean summit could be traced from the last round of Asean summitry in Malaysia,  November 2015 where – official sources had already begun disclosing that a “special summit” between the United States and the 10 ASEAN leaders would be held in Sunnylands, with a tentative date of February 15-16.

Holding the summit in US soil suggests a more robust approach by the Obama administration to engage with Malaysia and Asean constructively. Apart from increasing economic exchange with the growing Asean nations, security wise – Asean pose a strategic partner for US to counter the spread of extremist ideologist pertinently ISIS in the region.

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