MALAYSIA, UK REAF­FIRM TIES

Malaysia ready to do busi­ness with UK post-Brexit, Na­jib tells Bri­tish PM

New Straits Times - - Nation / News - ZAHARAH OTH­MAN LONDON news@nst.com.my

THE meet­ing be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May yes­ter­day reaf­firmed the strong ties both coun­tries have en­joyed since Malaysia achieved its in­de­pen­dence 60 years ago.

Na­jib, who ar­rived from Wash­ing­ton, the United States, after a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump last Tues­day, re­garded the meet­ings with th­ese world lead­ers as most sig­nif­i­cant as it demon­strated their ac­knowl­edge­ment of Malaysia as a global player.

“Our views are be­ing given se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion by them in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump,” he said after a 40minute meet­ing, which he re­garded as fruit­ful and pro­duc­tive.

“Bri­tain and Malaysia are old part­ners. My dis­cus­sions with Prime Min­is­ter May con­firmed the depth of our friend­ship, and we look for­ward to work­ing to­gether to forge a pros­per­ous and se­cure fu­ture for our peo­ples.

“We reaf­firmed the strong ties be­tween Malaysia and the United King­dom.

“Yes, she (May) men­tioned that it is sig­nif­i­cant; 60 years of in­de­pen­dence, 60 years of bi­lat­eral ties with the UK and it gives us a good op­por­tu­nity to look ahead and to strengthen, re­vive and re­sus­ci­tate our long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship,” he said.

Na­jib said in ad­di­tion to the shared val­ues and his­tory, the UK was seek­ing a new re­la­tion­ship with friends and part­ners around the world as it leaves the Euro­pean Union.

“Malaysia is well po­si­tioned to add value, be­ing strate­gi­cally lo­cated at the heart of South­east Asia, with strong links to the Mus­lim world and China,” he said.

Na­jib had con­veyed to May that Malaysia would be ready to do busi­ness with the UK post-Brexit.

“They will need new part­ners, new trade deals. So, Malaysia stands ready; Malaysia is well poised and can add value propo­si­tion to what­ever plans UK might have post Brexit,” he said out­side 10 Down­ing Street after the meet­ing.

He said as an out­ward-look­ing trad­ing na­tion, which the World Bank re­cently said was fac­ing the fu­ture “from a po­si­tion of strength”, Malaysia wel­comed the op­por­tu­nity to have a closer eco­nomic part­ner­ship with the UK.

“I as­sured Prime Min­is­ter May that Malaysia will be happy to dis­cuss set­ting up a trade ar­range­ment be­tween our coun­tries as soon as pos­si­ble. We know that trade will ben­e­fit our economies and our peo­ples.”

The is­sue of ter­ror­ism was also high on the agenda dur­ing their dis­cus­sions.

“The UK and Malaysia stand united on the need to fight ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism. We mourn those who have died in the re­cent at­tacks in the UK.

“Malaysia is ready to share its ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence in com­bat­ing the threat from those who blas­pheme the name of Is­lam by falsely claim­ing that their atroc­i­ties are Is­lamic,” he said, adding that co­op­er­a­tion would be strength­ened in ar­eas of coun­tert­er­ror­ism, in the fight against IS.

“They are our com­mon en­emy, we will work with the UK and other coun­tries to elim­i­nate this scourge and this threat.”

On the plight of the Ro­hingya, he said: “Prime Min­is­ter May and I agreed that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity must come to­gether to find a so­lu­tion to bring to an end a cri­sis that has shocked the re­gion and the world.”

Na­jib, who ar­rived in London with his wife, Datin Seri Ros­mah Man­sor, was ac­com­pa­nied to the meet­ing by, among oth­ers, For­eign Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ani­fah Aman and Malaysian High Com­mis­sioner to the UK and North­ern Ire­land Datuk Ah­mad Ra­sidi Haz­izi.

Ac­cord­ing to a Down­ing Street spokesman, May also took the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press her con­do­lences to Na­jib for the loss of lives in the Darul Qu­ran It­ti­faqiyah tah­fiz school fire.

BER­NAMA PIC

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak with Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May at 10 Down­ing Street in London on Thurs­day.

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