NUSA DUA (BALI), Nov 19 2011 (Bernama) -- United States President Barack Obama said Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has shown great leadership not only in continuing to boost Malaysia's economy but also in showing leadership on a wide range of multilateral fora.
The American leader said "we want to be a strong partner with Malaysia".
"I appreciate the extraordinary cooperation that we've received on a whole range of issues," he said.
"...So, thank you very much, Prime Minister," Obama said in his remarks at a bilateral meeting with Najib here, Friday ahead of the East Asia Summit scheduled for Saturday.
The US president said the bilateral meeting would allow both countries to discuss how they could best use the East Asia Summit to ensure shared prosperity and shared security across the region.
Obama said the meeting also allowed both sides to expand discussions on their bilateral relationship, describing it as "strong", as well the cooperation seen on issues like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
He also alluded to his interaction with Najib at the recently-concluded Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Hawaii.
"I just want to say how much of a pleasure it is to be able to see, once again, Prime Minister Najib.
We just had excellent conversations and consultations at the APEC conference that we hosted in Honolulu," he said.
Meanwhile, Najib, in his statement, noted that the US was Malaysia's fourth largest trading partner and, on a comparative basis, still the largest investor in Malaysia.
"We certainly look forward to expanding trade and investment linkages. And with the TPP, hopefully, we can meet the deadline next year," he said.
Najib said Kuala Lumpur saw great prospects in terms of enhancing trade and investment between the two countries.
"And certainly we look forward to working in other areas concerned," he said.
In addition, Najib stressed that Malaysia was very committed to ensuring peace and stability, pointing out that the Southeast Asian nation was working with the US in the area of nuclear non-proliferation.
"We're doing our part to ensure that Malaysia is not a transit point for illicit goods that can be used for nuclear proliferation," he said.
He said Malaysia was looking at new areas of cooperation, including receiving 50 English teachers from the US in January.
Najib mentioned that Malaysia was also helping out in Afghanistan, in reference to its capacity-building efforts in the war-torn country.
The bilateral meeting was also attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Nancy-Ann DeParle, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State, Kurt Campbell.
The Malaysian delegation included Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Wisma Putra (Foreign Ministry) secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Radzi Abdul Rahman and Malaysian ambassador to the US Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.