Gates Cites New Opportunities for U.S., Malaysia to Engage

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Nov. 9, 2010 — Cit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to expand a 25-year mil­i­tary part­ner­ship in ways that ben­e­fit both coun­tries and the entire region, Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates today reaf­firmed the U.S. com­mit­ment to Malaysia.

Gates, pay­ing his first vis­it to Malaysia, declared dur­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Defense Min­is­ter Ahmad Zahid Hami­di the “strong state” of the bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship and areas where it can expand to address cur­rent and emerg­ing chal­lenges and threats.

Dur­ing his meet­ing with Hami­di and a phone con­ver­sa­tion with Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Najib Razak, who is recu­per­at­ing after a hos­pi­tal stay, Gates and the Malaysian lead­ers explored some of those areas, includ­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism, coun­ter­pro­lif­er­a­tion and mar­itime secu­ri­ty.

They also dis­cussed increas­ing mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary engage­ments, with more com­bined exer­cis­es aimed at “enhanc­ing our abil­i­ty to oper­ate togeth­er,” Gates said.

The sec­re­tary praised Malaysia’s “strong record as a leader in peace­keep­ing and human­i­tar­i­an efforts,” and said he and his Malaysian hosts dis­cussed “ways to work togeth­er to bol­ster that capa­bil­i­ty fur­ther.”

The sec­re­tary said he also thanked Malaysia for its con­tri­bu­tion to Afghanistan, where it has deployed a 40-mem­ber med­ical team to serve along­side medics from New Zealand in Bamiyan province.

The Unit­ed States and Malaysia “share a desire to com­bat extrem­ism, strength­en the rule of law and pro­mote eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment” in Afghanistan, Gates said. They also share a belief in the prin­ci­ples that are key to the region’s pros­per­i­ty, the sec­re­tary added, includ­ing “free and open com­merce, adher­ence to the rule of law and inter­na­tion­al norms, open access by all to the glob­al com­mons of sea, air space and now cyber­space, and the prin­ci­ple of resolv­ing con­flict with­out the use of force.”

“It is our shared belief in these prin­ci­ples that has led the U.S. and Malaysia to the strong defense rela­tion­ship we have today,” Gates said. “These are the prin­ci­ples that will con­tin­ue to guide us as we take on new secu­ri­ty chal­lenges, togeth­er with oth­er nations in the region, in the years to come.”

Gates said he hopes his vis­it, just a week after Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clinton’s stop here, sends a clear mes­sage that the Unit­ed States is com­mit­ted to its rela­tion­ship with Malaysia.

Respond­ing to a reporter’s ques­tion, Gates said the Unit­ed States wel­comes China’s role in this expand­ed rela­tion­ship, includ­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in multi­na­tion­al exer­cis­es. He sug­gest­ed human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and dis­as­ter response exer­cis­es as a good start­ing point. “Every coun­try in the region has an inter­est in this capa­bil­i­ty,” he said.

Hami­di, also respond­ing to a reporter, rec­og­nized Malaysia’s rela­tion­ship with Chi­na that dates back more than 1,000 years. “We both need each oth­er,” he said, deny­ing that Malaysia in any way feels “bul­lied” by Beijing’s activ­i­ties in the region.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →