Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Meets With Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 2, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on November 2. The Secretary and Malaysian Foreign Minister discussed promoting religious moderation, as well as expanding engagement between the United States and Malaysia in a number of ways.

Secretary Clinton said, "...Since day one of the administration, President Obama and I have made it a priority to reengage with the Asia Pacific. We know that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in this region, because it is the center of so many of the world's greatest opportunities and biggest challenges. So the United States is committed to strengthening our ties and we are particularly enthusiastic about deepening, broadening, and strengthening our relationship with Malaysia."

She continued, "...The United States wholeheartedly endorses Prime Minister Najib's call to promote religious moderation. We know that extremists exist in every religion. History has proven that, unfortunately, time and time again. But extremism is not a path to building sustainable prosperity, peace, stability, or democracy. It only promotes conflict and hardens hearts. So we very much welcome the prime minister's call for a global movement of moderates and we are eager to support him and other leaders who take up this call to promote interfaith dialogue.

"If we're going to increase understanding among people, then we need to expand the ties that connect us. And we are exploring that around the world, but in particular we are very committed to expanding people-to-people engagement between the United States and Malaysia.

"Later today, I will participate in the acknowledging and signing of three major agreements that will deepen our work together: first, a Memorandum of Understanding between our two governments designed to expand our collaboration on research and development of new technologies; second, a partnership between the government of Malaysia and Johns Hopkins University to build a new medical school and teaching hospital here in Malaysia; and finally, the sale of 50 Pratt & Whitney airplane engines to Malaysia Airlines which will create new jobs in both countries.

"We can also increase our people-to-people ties through education and student exchanges. President Obama and I admire the prime minister's vision for dramatically improving English language instruction through a new partnership between the United States and ASEAN. Speaking a common language, the language of computers, of technology, of business and investment, does create a powerful bond. And as I spoke with the foreign minister, we're getting to work immediately on how to implement that.

"We've already begun delivering on the prime minister's vision by doubling our program that helps young Malaysians get access to high-quality after-school English programs. And as the foreign minister and I agreed, our teams will begin discussing how to further expand English language learning.

"Opening our minds to new ideas is an important part of building long-term security and stability, but we also have to confront hard realities, including the spread of nuclear weapons. With the passage of the Strategic Trade Act, Malaysia now has powerful new tools for preventing proliferation by making it easier to stop shipments of nuclear fuel, weapons parts, and other equipment especially to states that are flouting their international obligations such as Iran and North Korea. Implementing the act quickly and effectively will deny nuclear proliferators the opportunity to use Malaysian territory to further their goals. I am very grateful for the help that Malaysia is giving to the leaders and people of Afghanistan. The military medical mission that Malaysia has deployed, including physicians and nurses and, in particular, much-needed women doctors, are making a significant contribution in helping Afghans rebuild after 30 years of conflict.

"Finally, we are pleased that Malaysia joined last month's negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership. That is a pact that would expand markets and create a level playing field for people in every country that does participate. I know there are tough issues to work out, as there always are with these agreements, but Malaysia's leadership in this region for greater economic growth is absolutely essential."

You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.

Secretary Clinton is traveling to Hawaii, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia October 27-November 8. You can learn about the Secretary's trip here.

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