Trump, Malaysia's Najib talk about trade and security, not scandal

Prime Minister Najib Razak will be greeted in the Oval Office for talks the White House says will focus on terrorism trade and Asian maritime disputes

Prime Minister Najib Razak will be greeted in the Oval Office for talks the White House says will focus on terrorism trade and Asian maritime disputes

The prime minister said he hoped to strengthen Malaysia-US ties further in his talks with President Donald Trump later today and gave an assurance the country "will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with America on this vital mission to eliminate a terror group whose acts sicken all of civilized humanity".

The visit is important for Najib, who faces elections next year and wants to signal he is still welcome at the White House despite a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department into a state fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He was sworn into the position on 3 April 2009 to succeed Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The discussion with Trump was the highlight of Najib's Sep 11-13 working visit to the United States at the invitation of the 45th U.S. president who took office on Jan 20 this year.

Both leaders are expected to issue a joint statement at the conclusion of the White House meetings as Kuala Lumpur and Washington celebrated six decades of bilateral ties this year.

"They have to be very happy because we are hitting new highs on nearly a weekly basis", Trump said.

Najib's visit to the White House comes under the cloud of a massive corruption scandal involving the 1MDB state fund that he founded.

The U.S. Justice Department sued to seize some $1.7 billion in assets it said were bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds.

"Look, we're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation being led by the DoJ, and that investigation is apolitical and certainly independent of anything taking place tomorrow", she said, referring to the meeting.

Chin said Najib will also aim to burnish his Islamic credentials by seeking US help to end the violence against ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Mr Najib said the 9/11 terror attacks not only changed the USA but the world as the assault was inspired by the same "false and poisonous ideology" spread by the global terror network known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ― or its various acronyms ISIS, IS and Daesh.

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