US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congressional delegation arrive in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi accompanied by a congressional delegation arrived here, Tuesday (Aug 2) as part of the official visit to four Asian countries.

The special aircraft carrying Pelosi and her entourage touched down at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang near here at 10.33am, amid tight security.

Upon arrival, Pelosi, 82, in a pink suit, and her delegation were greeted by Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon. Also present was US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian D. McFeeters.

It is Pelosi's maiden visit to Malaysia with Gregory Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also in the delegation list. Pelosi is number three in the line of US presidential succession and the only woman who has served as the Speaker of US house.

Kuala Lumpur is Pelosi’s second stop after Singapore on Monday before she heads to South Korea and Japan with her tour being closely watched to see if Taiwan is also in her itinerary.

While here, she is expected to pay a courtesy call on Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun at the Parliament building at noon before adjourning for a luncheon meet with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at a leading hotel here.

"The trip will focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region," said an earlier press release from Pelosi’s office.

However, Pelosi’s office did not mention whether the speaker would visit Taiwan amid intense speculation since late Monday that she might make a stop over in the island, a move that is set to draw China’s wrath as it views visits by US officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp in the island.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that in the event of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, Beijing will take decisive measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the US will be fully responsible for all the consequences resulting from the visit.

The United States established diplomatic ties with Malaysia in 1957 following the then Malaya's independence from Britain.

Washington and Kuala Lumpur elevated bilateral relations to a Comprehensive Partnership in April 2014. - Bernama

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