Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Mr Najib Goes To Washington
Is this what happens when one carries too much baggage to Washington? Today we can sell the Iranians, tomorrow can we be forced to sell our souls? Or do we have a soul left?
US, Malaysia take anti-Iran stance
Published: 13/04/2010 at 03:48 AM
Online news: Breakingnews
WASHINGTON : Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak agreed in talks with US President Barack Obama on Monday that the global community should send a "clear signal" to Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.
Obama and Najib met ahead of the start of a landmark 47-nation summit in Washington on Monday aimed at depriving terror groups of nuclear weapons, among other objectives.
Iran, which is at loggerheads with the United States over its atomic programme, is not represented at the nuclear summit.
But the US State Department has said that efforts to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear programme will be a "significant" topic during the talks.
Iran has been under mounting global pressure to abandon its nuclear programme, with Western powers fearing it wants to build an atomic bomb. Tehran says the programme is peaceful and only meant to produce energy.
Iran has already been slapped with three sets of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the spectre of more looms, spearheaded by Washington and some western nations.
Ahead of Najib's arrival in Washington, Malaysia passed a law to curb the trafficking of nuclear weapon components after being linked to illegal supply of sensitive technology to countries including Iran and Libya.
The Strategic Trade Bill, approved by Parliament about week ago, provides for prison terms of at least five years and fines of millions of dollars for those illegally bringing in or exporting material that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction.
Malaysia at present provides training to Afghan teachers and public officials.
Local newspaper The Star sells a different tack. I think we can see why:
Najib and Obama in historic bilateral meeting
By LIM AI LEE
WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama met in a historic bilateral meeting here, paving the way for a new era in Malaysian-American ties.
The two leaders looked relaxed as they settled down to their first ever bilateral meeting at 11.30am yesterday (Malaysian time 11.30pm) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre where Obama is hosting the inaugural two-day Nuclear Security Summit.
Najib and Obama talked for 40 minutes, longer than their scheduled half-hour meeting, flanked by Acting Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who is Information Communi-cation and Culture Minister, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
They spoke about trade between their countries, security in the Asian region and Malaysia’s role in the Islamic world.
Najib and Obama: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak meeting US President Barack Obama at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, sending clear signals of a fresh spring in relations between Malaysia and the United States. The two leaders spoke for 40 minutes. Najib and Chinese President Hu Jintao are the only leaders from Asia to meet Obama on the sidelines of the summit. — Reuter
Also in the Prime Minister’s delegation for the meeting were Foreign Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa and Malaysian ambassador to the United States Datuk Seri Jamaludin Jarjis.
Najib is among more than 40 world leaders attending the summit but only one of two Asian leaders granted a face-to-face meeting with Obama. The other leader is Chinese President Hu Jintao.
It was a hectic day for the prime minister who began his day with an early morning meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel with US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinburg and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman who paid a courtesy call on him.
The Prime Minister then headed to the convention centre for his meeting with Obama and later was hosted to lunch by US vice-president Joe Biden at the Naval Observatory.
He is slated to hold a bilateral meeting with his New Zealand counterpart John Key at the convention centre in the afternoon before attending a welcoming reception by Obama for all invited heads of government.
In the evening, Najib will attend a Heads of Delegation working dinner chaired by Obama where the discussion topic is “Threat of Nuclear Terrorism”.
At the summit, Najib is expected to stress on Malaysia’s stance that any nuclear programme should be used only for development and peace.