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Tuesday June 14, 2011

ISIS and US think tank in bid to boost ties

KUALA LUMPUR: The Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and the United States Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will conduct a joint study to further strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.

Both think tanks have set up a multidimensional, research-based foundation to expand cooperation in the areas of security and political affairs, trade and investment, science and technology, and education and sociology-cultural ties, they said in a joint statement yesterday.

According to the statement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had welcomed the joint effort when he met ISIS Malaysia chief executive Datuk Dr Mahani Zainal Abidin and CSIS senior adviser and South-East Asia Studies director Datuk Ernest Bower during a recent working visit to the United States.

The collaboration includes conducting a major study titled “From Strength to Empowerment: The Next Generation of US-Malaysia Relations,” and establishing an elite Malaysia and US Advisory Board to guide the study.

A Malaysian fellow would be placed at CSIS in Washington DC soon to conduct research and gain insights into Washington’s policy-making structures.

An inaugural Congressional delegation, which would include US senators, is expected to visit Malaysia in August as part of the new initiative. The joint study would start immediately with ideas and recommendations to be delivered in October, the statement said.

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