Malaysia’s Razak meets with Obama in Washington, reiterates willingness to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiated by Obama administration;
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  • Malaysian PM Najib Razak met with US President Barack Obama for the first ever bilateral talks on April 13 at the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. During the 40-minute interaction, both the leaders discussed economic cooperation, nuclear proliferation among other issues. Najib expressed Malaysia’s willingness to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiated by the Obama administration to promote economic integration in the region.1 Razak also extended support to the current US stance on Iran’s nuclear programme. He however stated that the international community will have to make it clear to Iran that while it has a right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purpose, it should abstain from developing nuclear weapons.2

    Najib Razak arrived at Tokyo on April 18 on a four-day visit. This is Razak’s first visit to Japan after assuming office. He is scheduled to have an audience with the Japanese Emperor and hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Yukio Hatoyama.3

    Three bomb blasts rocked a park in Rangoon, Myanmar when thousands of people gathered to celebrate an annual water festival. Nine people reportedly lost their lives while 75 others were injured. Several such incidents have occurred in recent times and the ruling authorities blame armed groups and ethnic rebels for the incidents.4

    Reports noted that 24 prominent leaders of anti-government UDD protesters in Thailand have decided to surrender to the police by May 15. However, the organisation vowed to continue its protests while seeking immediate dissolution of the House.5

    Thai and Cambodian troops exchanged fire on April 18 near the border region. A meeting of commanders of both the sides was held. No casualty was however reported.6