PM to attend Asean-Aussie special summit in Sydney

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 Mar 2018

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has arrived in Sydney to attend a summit on Asean-Australia cooperation.

The special aircraft carrying Najib touched down at the Kingsford Smith Airport at 10.48 pm (7.48 pm Malaysian time) Friday.

Najib was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

On hand to welcome them were Assistant Minister to the Australian Prime Minister James McGrath, New South Wales Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean and Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia Datuk Sudha Devi Vasudevan.

Najib is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the closing segment of the Counter-Terrorism Conference on the first day of the two-day summit this weekend.

Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim said Najib is the only Asean leader invited to deliver a speech at the closing segment.

The other leader to address the conference will be Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“This is a recognition, a great privilege and it reflects his (Najib’s) authority and leadership in highlighting issues related to counter-terrorism in the region,” said Ramlan.

“Najib’s firmness as a leader and Malaysia’s strategy have given Australia confidence to invite him to state his vision and suggest the best approach to address the issue based on our experience and the approach we have taken,” Ramlan said at a press conference in Sydney yesterday.

In a statement earlier in the day, the Foreign Ministry said it will be the first time for Australia to host a summit with all Asean leaders.

“The special summit is organised to discuss the future direction and cooperation between Asean and Australia.

“Besides that, the summit is also organised to commemorate the elevation of Asean-Australia relations to a strategic partnership,” it said.

Najib is also expected to use this opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with his Asean and Australia counterparts to discuss issues of mutual interest.

During the special summit, the leaders are expected to deliver two important outcome documents, the Sydney Declaration and the Memo­ran­dum of Under­stan­ding between Asean and Australia on Cooperation to Counter International Terrorism.

The Asean-Australia special summit will comprise three sessions, namely the Asean-Australia Lea­der’s Summit, the Asean-Australia Busi­nesses Summit and the Asean-Australia Counter-Terrorism Confe­rence. — Bernama

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