US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad ahead of Asean summit

Aug 03, 2018, 16:43 IST | IANS

Pompeo, who arrived in Malaysia on Thursday night, visited Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya and congratulated the 93-year-old leader for his surprise victory in the elections held in May

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad ahead of Asean summit
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during their meeting at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur, on August 3, 2018. Pompeo arrived in Malaysia on August 2, the first stop on a Southeast Asian tour expected to focus on North Korea's commitment to denuclearisation and simmering maritime and trade tensions with Beijing. / AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday met Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday before leaving for Singapore to attend a summit of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Pompeo, who arrived in Malaysia on Thursday night, visited Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya and congratulated the 93-year-old leader for his surprise victory in the elections held in May, reports Efe news. Pompeo and Mahathir discussed a number of issues of mutual interest, according to a statement by the Malaysian government.

The US and Malaysia established diplomatic ties in 1957, when the latter became independent from British rule and strengthened them in 2014 by signing a partnership agreement. After meeting Mahathir, Pompeo will leave for Singapore, the second stop of his Southeast Asia tour, where he will attend the Asean meeting, coinciding with the visit of a North Korean delegation, headed by his counterpart Ri Yong-ho.

On Thursday, the Asean foreign ministers urged the two Koreas, the US and other parties to sustain efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and establish lasting peace. Asean consists of Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, which have a joint population of around 630 million.

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