Najib to attend Riyadh summit with Muslim leaders and Trump

Najib to attend Riyadh summit with Muslim leaders and Trump

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta/Files)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will make a three-day working visit to Saudi Arabia beginning May 20 to participate in the Arab-Islamic-US Summit at the invitation of King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

Najib will join more than 50 Arab and Muslim nation leaders for the summit with  US President Donald Trump on Sunday.

A foreign ministry statement on Friday (May 19) said the summit, scheduled for May 21, was being convened at the initiative of Saudi Arabia and coincided with the state visit of Trump to Saudi Arabia.

"The Minister of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia and special envoy to King Salman Abdulaziz, Dr Awwad Saleh Al-Awwad, extended the invitation during his visit and courtesy call on the Prime Minister in Putrajaya on May 11," it said.

'CONFRONT TERROR SWIFTLY AND DECISIVELY'

In the English version of his op-ed for Saudi Gazette and Arabic version for Al Riyadh newspapers to be published on Saturday, Najib said he believed that the Arab, Islamic and United States Summit represents an important attempt to bring ties between the Muslim world and the United States to new levels.

The forthcoming Riyadh Summit must stand ready to confront terror swiftly and decisively wherever and whenever it manifests itself, said Najib.

"We must ensure that the barbarism we see in Syria and Iraq is rooted out. We must show that we stand ready to confront terror swiftly and decisively wherever and whenever it manifests itself. We must never surrender," he said.

"With even greater mutual understanding, we can work together all the better to fight the ignorance, exclusion and sense of grievance that could fuel violent extremism.

"We know that President Donald Trump is committed to eradicating Daesh. Under my leadership, so will Malaysia be - as should all Muslim countries at this summit and beyond," Najib wrote.

He said it was up to all of them at this summit to forge this partnership and prove, once and for all, that there was no clash of civilisations, with Muslim world on one side and the West on the other.

"There is only a clash with civilization, and on that we all - members of all religions - must stand united as one; firm, determined and ready to act," he said.

The prime minister also said that it was crucial for all Muslim countries and leaders to make it absolutely clear that there was nothing Islamic about terrorism.

"Authentic Islam is a religion of enlightenment, civilization and scholarship, not of destruction and death," he stated.

The prime minister said Kuala Lumpur was willing to share the country''s experience and expertise in combating terrorism with all countries at the summit, including the success stories of its Wasatiyyah (moderation) approach, deradicalisation programme, the Regional Counter-Messaging Centre.

PM Najib was also scheduled to attend the inauguration of the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology at Mu'tamarat, Nasiriyah in Riyadh, it said.

"Malaysia is expected to play a major role in the development of the centre.

"This is a recognition not only by Saudi Arabia but the wider world of the active and important role that Malaysia plays in the global effort to combat terrorism," the statement added.

The ministry said that on the final day of the visit, Najib was expected to have an audience with King Salman Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Mohammad Naif Al-Saud and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al-Saud.

"These meetings will provide the opportunity for both sides to discuss bilateral and regional issues of common interest," the statement added.

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia were working closely to promote peace, stability and security in the Islamic world and beyond, it said.

The ministry said Najib's visit to Saudi Arabia would enhance these efforts as well as further strengthen bilateral relations. 

The ministry said Najib would be accompanied by Defence Minister and Minister with Special Functions in the Prime Minister''s Department Hishammuddin Hussein and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom, as well as senior government officials.

Source: Bernama/mn