|Hillary Clinton with Anifah Aman|
(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is praising Malaysia’s commitment to religious tolerance as she visits the Muslim-majority country.
“Extremism is not a path to building sustainable prosperity, peace, stability or democracy — it only promotes conflicts and hardens hearts,” she told reporters at a joint news conference November 2 with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
Clinton said the United States fully supports Malaysian efforts to create a global interfaith dialogue, which Anifah said began with a proposal that Prime Minister Najib Razak made to the U.N. General Assembly in September.
Anifah said the proposed initiative “promotes mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and rejects extremists who undermine the universal values of religion.” The initiative’s goal is to create a global movement of moderates, he said.
Clinton did not meet with the prime minister, who was sick during her visit, but did speak to him by telephone. Clinton said she had raised the trial of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim with Anifah.
“The United States believes it is important for all aspects of the case to be conducted fairly and transparently in a way that increases confidence in the rule of law in Malaysia,” Clinton said, adding that the United States would continue to follow the matter. The government has denied there is any conspiracy against Anwar, and Anifah said Anwar will receive a “fair and open trial.”
“It is in my interest and in our interest to make sure that Anwar gets a fair trial because if there is such a thing as a political prosecution, if it can happen to Anwar, it can happen to the rest of us,” Anifah said.
He and Clinton said they discussed cooperation on issues including trade, science, education, Afghanistan and nuclear nonproliferation. Clinton added she also planned to sign a series of agreements with Malaysia during her trip.
“First, a memorandum of understanding between our two governments designed to expand our collaboration on research and development of new technologies; second, a partnership between the government of Malaysia and Johns Hopkins University to build a new medical school and teaching hospital here in Malaysia; and finally, the sale of 50 Pratt & Whitney airplane engines to Malaysia Airlines, which will create new jobs in both countries,” Clinton told reporters.
Clinton’s visit to Malaysia is part of her 13-day trip to meet with leaders of at least eight East Asian and Pacific nations.
The secretary began traveling October 27 and is set to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia and American Samoa before returning to Washington November 8. The secretary’s trip overlaps with President Obama’s travel to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan November 6–14.
Meanwhile, Najib is quietly hiding away from the public eye with claims of chicken pox and gastric issues. And who can blame him?
Evidently, it is not only Rosmah that he fears, but also Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard too. I guess too many women in one's life can give one stomach ulcers.