HIGH HOPES OF LASTING PEACE: Both sides closer to signing peace deal brokered by Malaysia, says Najib
VLADIVOSTOK (Russia): THE possibility of peace looks imminent in troubled southern Philippines as Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are closer to reaching a peace accord brokered by Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.
Najib, who met Philippine President Benigno Aquino yesterday, said Malaysia had high hopes of lasting peace being achieved in the area.
He said he was keen to witness the signing of the peace accord, possibly by year-end.
Najib met Aquino on the sidelines of the 20th Apec Leaders' Summit, which ended yesterday.
Speaking to the media later, Najib said Aquino had expressed Manila's gratitude over Malaysia's involvement in assisting both warring parties reach a peaceful solution.
Both leaders also discussed bilateral trade and investment issues, with Aquino thanking Malaysia for hosting the Philippines-Malaysia Investment Partnership Forum in May, which was participated by about 200 companies.
During a meeting with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Najib said the US government had expressed hope of working with Malaysia to promote the Global Movement of Moderates, which aims to eradicate every aspect of extremism.
Najib said Clinton also enquired about the outcome of the US' move to send English language teachers to Malaysia under the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programme. The prime minister said he would send a report to Clinton on the matter soon.
Najib also said he had agreed to Clinton's suggestion that Malaysia host the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Clinton had also expressed Washington's hope for both countries to finalise Malaysia's involvement in the trans-Pacific partnership programme, saying that they should set the end of next year as the deadline.
On his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yishihiko Noda, Najib said his counterpart had indicated his desire for more Japanese companies to invest in Malaysia, in view of Malaysia's secure supply chain network.
Najib also said a seminar would be held in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 10 to coincide with the 30th year of the country's Look East Policy.
He added that Japan had agreed to issue multiple-entry visas for Malaysians in view of the warm bilateral ties between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Najib returned safely back to the country last night after attending the meeting. Najib and his entourage arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 10.20pm.