WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (Sep 12) he and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak are discussing large trade pacts and a deal involving Boeing jets and praised the Malaysian leader's efforts in the fight against terrorism.
Appearing with Trump at the White House, Najib said he would like to invest in Trump's infrastructure programme and Malaysia remains committed to fighting Islamic State, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.
The Malaysian leader was warmly welcomed by Trump on arrival for their one-on-one meeting at the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue in what is Najib's first visit to the official workplace and residence of the US president.
"I want to thank you very much for all the investments you have made in the United States," Trump said during a joint appearance in the Cabinet Room, heralding a Boeing deal worth "20 billion dollars."
Trump also hailed Najib's "major role" in countering the Islamic State group and other militant groups. "He's been very very strong on terrorism in Malaysia and a great supporter from that standpoint. That's a very important thing for the United States," he said.
The discussion with Trump was the highlight of Najib's Sep 11-13 working visit to the US at the invitation of the 45th US president who took office on Jan 20 this year.
The programme at the White House included an expanded delegation meeting involving members and advisers of the Trump administration as well as Malaysian ministers and senior government officials.
Both leaders are expected to issue a joint statement at the conclusion of the White House meetings as Kuala Lumpur and Washington celebrated six decades of bilateral ties this year.
Listed as participants of the delegation meeting on the US side are Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Chief of Staff General John Kelly, National Security Adviser Lt Gen H R McMaster and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.
Observers have noted that the line-up reflected the significance accorded by Washington under the Trump administration to the meeting in terms of opening a new chapter in its ties with Malaysia, a multicultural and multireligious nation of some 30 million people in vibrant Southeast Asia.
The Malaysian delegation comprised Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Ambassador to the US Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and National Security Council director-general Gen (R) Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.