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Sunday April 27, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday April 27, 2014 MYT 9:48:16 AM
by christine cheah
Photo Gallery: Obama arrives in Malaysia - Day 2
SUBANG: With his customary single wave of the right hand and a heartening smile, US President Barack Obama walked out of Air Force One to begin his historic visit to Malaysia.
The scene of him waving “hello” on the steps of his presidential aircraft has been seen on TV many times since he took office in 2009, but this time, the 44th President of the United States, was here in the flesh.
The Boeing 747-200B touched down just past 5pm in fine weather and cool temperatures due to a heavy shower earlier.
Moments later, Cadillac One aka The Beast pulled up on the tarmac beside the aircraft.
Then, it was that moment the nation had been waiting for 48 years – the President of the United States emerging.
The charismatic Obama, looking dapper in his dark blue suit and rested despite his hectic trips to Tokyo and Seoul, hurried down the airstairs.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman was the first to greet the President, followed by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is the minister-in-attendance.
Among the others standing in line were Wisma Putra secretary-general Datuk Othman Hashim, US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Yun and Special Envoy to the United States Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis. Together with them were also Americas Division Undersecre-tary Datuk Syed Sultan Mohd Idris and Ambasador-designate to the United States Datuk Awang Adek Hussin.
The president was seen exchanging words with those who greeted him, smiling and giving each a pat too.
Obama acknowledged scores of others who waited for him, some for as long as four hours, including a large number of media personnel.
He smiled and waved at them before being accompanied to The Beast by Khairy.
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice joined him on the ride to Parliament House for the official welcoming ceremony.
The security protocol was extremely tight for the president’s arrival, with journalists having to undergo three levels of identity checks.
The president’s arrival was telecast live by the local TV networks. Lyndon B. Johnson was the first US president to visit Malaysia way back in 1966.
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