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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Clinton says Malaysia a model nation to the world

Washington yesterday hailed Malaysia’s promotion of religious moderation, pledging its “whole-hearted” endorsement of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call for a Global Movement of Moderates (GMM).
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States stood behind Malaysia in its stand that moderates should not lose out to extremism as it was not the path to building sustainability and stability, as well as peace and democracy.

“Extremism promotes only conflict and hardens hearts.

“We very much welcome the prime minister’s call for a global movement of moderates and we are eager to support him and urge other leaders to take up his call to promote interfaith dialogues,” Clinton said at a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman at Wisma Putra.
Najib had, at the United Nations general assembly in September, called for the GMM, which aims to rally Muslim leaders and intellectuals to state their stand against extremism.

Clinton said the recognition of Malaysia as a global “thought leader” and a “model nation to the world” by the administration of US President Barack Obama, made the US enthusiastic about building on its ties with the country.

Kuala Lumpur and Washington, she said, shared strong partnerships that were based on common values, including respect for cultural diversity, pluralism and religious tolerance, aside from crucial trade, investment and business ties.

Washington also endorsed Malaysia’s leadership in the region’s economy, saying its role for greater economic growth was “absolutely essential”.

“Since day one of administration, Obama and I have made it a priority to re-engage with Asia Pacific as we knowthat much of the history of 21st century will be written in this region because it is the centre of so many of the world’s biggest opportunities and challenges.

“The US is committed to strengthening its ties and we are particularly enthusiastic about deepening, broadening and strengthening our relationship with Malaysia.

“We are also exploring to connect ties around the world but in particular we are very committed to expanding people-to-people engagements between the US and Malaysia.”

She later paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is standing in for Najib, who has chickenpox.

Clinton, who earlier had a telephone conversation with Najib, also said Obama admired Najib’s vision for improving the English language through new partnerships, adding that Malaysia and the US could also improve their people-to-people ties through education and student exchanges.

“We have already begun delivering the prime minister’s vision by doubling programmes that help young Malaysians get access to high-quality after-school English programmes.

“The foreign minister (Anifah) and I agreed that our teams will begin discussing how to further expand English language learning.”

She commended Kuala Lumpur for helping Afghans rebuild their lives, especially through the deployment of aid missions that include women doctors.

On her trip, Clinton said she had been very excited about coming over and likened her visit to an appetiser.


Read more: Clinton says Malaysia a model nation to the world http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/ClintonsaysMalaysiaamodelnationtotheworld/Article/#ixzz14HjqfbR5

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