Malaysia

US and Malaysia agree to upgrade ties to ‘comprehensive partnership’, says Najib

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaking at a joint press conference in Putrajaya today. – Reuters pic, April 27, 2014.US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaking at a joint press conference in Putrajaya today. – Reuters pic, April 27, 2014.Malaysia and the United States (US) have agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

This, he said, marked a new phase in the relationship, with greater collaboration on the economy, security, education, science, technology and other fields.

"We also decided to reinvigorate the Senior Officials Dialogue as a key forum for high-level discussion. Together, these agreements lay a firm foundation for further co-operation to come," he was quoted by Bernama as saying.

Najib was speaking at a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama following talks between both leaders in Putrajaya today.

Obama is on a three-day visit to Malaysia, the first by an American president in nearly 50 years.

Najib also said that the United States was Malaysia's largest source of foreign investments last year with investments worth US$1.9 billion (about RM6 billion) creating 8,000 jobs in the process.

On territorial tensions in the South China Sea, Najib said the two leaders had agreed on the importance of upholding international law.

Obama, meanwhile, said that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is still being negotiated among 12 countries, will benefit Malaysia in achieving high-income nation status by 2020.

He also said that the United States was "absolutely committed" to providing more assets to assist in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

"I can tell you the United States is absolutely committed to providing whatever resources and assets that we can," Reuters quoted Obama as saying.

A US defence official had told Reuters on Friday that the sea search is likely to drag on for years as it enters the much more difficult phase of scouring broader areas of the ocean near where the plane is believed to have crashed. – Agencies, April 27, 2014.

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