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Malaysia is a strong and
steady partner of the United States, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton. At a joint news conference in Washington, D.C., with Malaysia's
Foreign Minister Y.B. Anifah bin Haji Aman, Secretary Clinton said, "the
role that Malaysia is playing and can play, regionally and even globally, on a
number of important issues is significant, and therefore we want to broaden and
deepen our strategic cooperation."
Secretary Clinton praised Malaysia's efforts to combat piracy, noting that
Malaysian naval vessels have been very effective in the Gulf Aden. The U.S, she
said, is very pleased that Malaysia will soon be hosting an international
meeting on piracy and will attend the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of
Somalia meeting in New York. "We look forward to Malaysia's membership in
this important body and to benefiting from their advice and counsel," said
Malaysia is the United State's 16th largest trading partner and the United
States is Malaysia's largest. Secretary Clinton noted that the U.S.
"appreciates this strong trade and economic relationship, which has
created tens of thousands of jobs in Malaysia and the United States, and we
look forward to closer cooperation."
Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Anifah discussed a number of other
common concerns of the U.S. and Malaysia, including the global economic
recession, human trafficking, and the humane treatment of refugees and
stateless persons. Secretary Clinton pointed to the long history of people-to-people
ties and reaffirmed America's desire to strengthen these ties.
Foreign Minister Anifah and Secretary of State Clinton expressed concern over
the Burmese Government's decision to charge Aung San Suu Kyi with violating the
terms of her house arrest. Secretary Clinton said the U.S. "opposes the
Burmese regime's efforts to use this incident as a pretext to place further
unjustified restrictions on her," and called on Burmese authorities to
release her immediately and unconditionally, along with her doctor and the more
than 2,100 political prisoners currently being held in Burma.
Secretary of State Clinton reiterated to Foreign Minister Anifah "that the
United States is solidly committed under the Obama Administration to
strengthening our relationship with Southeast Asia."