THIS is a big week for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the diplomatic front.
Fresh from a triumphant visit to the White House for a meeting with US President Donald Trump, he left for London where he will have a bilateral meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May today.
He declined to reveal the agenda but said the meeting had been planned earlier, although they could not meet owing to clashing schedules. On his working visit at the invitation of Trump, the Prime Minister described it as a stress-free and positive visit.
Looking visibly upbeat at a press conference on the last day of his visit, he said the trip was a huge success that coincided with the nation’s 60 years of independence and the 60th anniversary of Malaysia-US bilateral ties.
“I am very happy to be received in this manner by US President Donald Trump not only as Prime Minister but as a friend.
“I am delighted that I accepted his invitation and the visit could not have gone better,” he said.
The Opposition and some US media outlets had questioned his visit to meet Trump.
Najib said the warm reception by Trump and his Cabinet members proved the critics wrong, citing the recognition of Malaysia as a significant global player as proof that their claims were unfounded.
The US recognition also came in the form of Trump bringing a senior line-up to the meeting, including Vice-President Michael Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Deputy Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan, National Security Advisor Lieutenant-General H.R. McMaster and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
In a joint statement after the White House meeting Najib and Trump discussed matters relating to the South China Sea.
They emphasised the importance of ensuring, maintaining, and safeguarding peace and stability, maritime security, freedom of navigation and over-flight, and other lawful uses of the seas.
They underscored the importance of upholding and adhering to the rules-based maritime order and called upon all disputing parties to implement their international legal obligations in good faith, and to avoid the threat or use of force, intimidation, or coercion.
They further called on all disputing parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and refrain from action that would erode trust and confidence, and escalate tension, including the militarisation of outposts.
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