Najib at White House for meeting with Trump

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak went to the White House today to meet US President Donald Trump.

Media footage showed Najib arriving at the White House at about 11.46am (11.46pm Malaysian time).

About half hour after his arrival, the media were allowed into a meeting room where Trump said it was an honour to welcome Najib to the White House.

"We were talking about trade, very large trade deal. We're working on one deal where between US$10 to 20 billion in Boeing jets will be purchased and General Electric engines.

"Malaysia is a massive investor in the US in the forms of stocks and bonds in the stock exchange. They must be very happy because we've been hitting new highs.

"I want to thank you for all the investments you've made in the US," Trump said.

He added that Najib has had a major role in "not allowing" the Islamic State extremist group "to exist" in Malaysia, and that the prime minister had been "very, very strong" on terrorism.

He also praised Malaysia's decision not to continue trade with North Korea.

Najib, with cameras situated behind, then thanked Trump for his invitation to the White House.

"We come here with strong value propositions to put on the table, we want to help you strengthen the US economy," Najib said.

He said he had three economic proposals. The first was for MAS to purchase 33 Boeing jets, and to convince AirAsia to purchase General Electric engines.

"We are committed to 25 planes of the 737 MAX 10, plus eight 787 Dreamliners. And there is a strong probability – not possibility – probability that we will add 25 more 737 MAX 10 in the near future.

"So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond $10 billion. That’s one. We will also try to persuade AirAsia to purchase GE engines," Najib said.

He added that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) would double its investments in the US, and lastly, state-owned Khazanah Nasional will increase its presence in the US. 

Malaysiakini understands that beyond this brief session with the media, there will be no press conference.

Traditionally, when a foreign leader visits the White House, there would be a joint statement from both leaders, following which journalists from each delegation are allowed to ask two questions.

However, this tradition was broken during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in June, when no questions were allowed to be asked after the joint statement.

According to Trump's schedule posted on his personal Facebook page, the meeting with Najib was the fourth on the US president's schedule today.

Previous reports said that following the one-on-one meeting, the two would be joined by US Vice President Mike Pence, State Secretary Rex Tillerson and other senior White House leaders.

Najib had said that the meeting would focus on security issues, including efforts to combat the extremist group IS.

He said the two will also discuss trade and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

Critics, however, speculated that Najib will use the meeting in an effort to ease pressure from US investigations on the 1MDB scandal.


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