WASHINGTON D.C., May 13 – The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob met the President of the United States (US), Joe Biden and ASEAN leaders at the White House on Thursday (Friday in Malaysia). President Biden held a meeting with ASEAN leaders for the two-day ASEAN-US Special Summit here starting Thursday.

This historic meeting is seen as a starting point to bring a positive impact on diplomatic, trade and economic relations to Malaysia. Ismail Sabri also emphasized ASEAN’s focus on ASEAN-US cooperation at the summit, besides hoping that this special summit would be a strategic platform for ASEAN and the US to study and explore areas of pragmatic cooperation to strengthen existing cooperation.

Ismail Sabri also joined Biden and ASEAN leaders for a group photo at the White House compound. They then attended a dinner hosted by President Biden at the White House. The special summit with the leaders of Southeast Asian countries is the second time organized by the US President in the country.

In February 2016, then-President Barack Obama welcomed ASEAN leaders in Sunnylands, California. Other ASEAN leaders who attended the meeting were the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah; Indonesian President Joko Widodo; The Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong and the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen. The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-Cha; The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Chinh and the Prime Minister of Laos, Dr Phankham Viphavanh also attended.