US expresses interest in KL-S'pore high-speed rail project

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During a meeting between Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and US President Donald Trump in the United States on Sept 12, both leaders welcomed the involvement of the US private sector in the development of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project.

Trump also welcomed Malaysia’s intent to make an additional US$60 million in defence procurements from the US.

Other matters discussed during the meeting include the pledge to nurture economic ties between the two countries and the fight against terrorism.

Salient points are as follows, and the full statement can be read here:

- The two leaders expressed their concern over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests and reaffirmed their support for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the need for the international community to strictly implement UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Trump welcomed Najib’s commitment to go beyond the UNSC resolutions, including through a review of its diplomatic relations and business links with North Korea.

- The two leaders welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysia Airlines Berhad and The Boeing Company for eight new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, purchase rights for eight additional 737 MAX airplanes, and maintenance for the national carrier’s fleet, with a potential total value of US$4 billion. Trump welcomed the probability of additional purchases of Boeing aircraft in the future.

- On matters relating to the South China Sea, the two leaders called upon all disputing parties to implement their international legal obligations in good faith and to avoid the threat or use of force, intimidation, or coercion. They further called on all disputing parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and refrain from action that erodes trust and confidence, and escalates tension, including the militarisation of outposts. The two leaders reaffirmed that all maritime claims must be based on and resolved in accordance with international law as reflected in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

- The two leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia. The two leaders noted Malaysia’s pledge of US$1 million for humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from IS.

- The US recognised Malaysia’s continued progress toward meeting the requirements for the US Visa Waiver Programme, including obligations under the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6) and Preventing and Combatting Serious Crime (PCSC) information sharing arrangements.

- Najib announced Malaysia’s commitment to implement its data sharing agreements with the US and to phase enhancements of passenger screening at all points of entry, with the US committed to actively work with Malaysia towards this end.

- The US welcomed Malaysia’s commitment to increase prosecutions of human traffickers, as well as expedited assessment with the aim of increasing substantially the number of trafficking victims granted freedom of movement.

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