Malaysian PM to arrive tonight for security talks
- Marvin Sy () - January 19, 2004 - 12:00am
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is arriving tonight for talks with President Arroyo with regional security and the Muslim insurgency in Mindanao high on the agenda.

Abdullah will be accompanied by Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, according to Malaysian news agency Bernama.

Syed said Abdullah and Mrs. Arroyo will also discuss existing economic ties between their countries. "The visit is aimed to bolster relations between the two neighbors," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Malaysia is currently trying to restart peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The MILF has been waging a decades-long insurgency in a bid to establish an Islamic state in the south. The United States is playing a supporting role in the talks.

Abdullah will be accorded full military honors at Malacañang before his meeting with Mrs. Arroyo. A bilateral meeting between Philippine and Malaysian officials will follow.

Mrs. Arroyo and Abdullah will hold a joint press conference after the talks, to be followed by a luncheon hosted by the President in Abdullah’s honor.

Abdullah, who became the country’s fifth premier on Oct. 31, replacing former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, is touring member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a tradition when a new leader comes to office.

Abdullah will visit Laos on Monday and has already visited Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Asean also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

ABDULLAH ASEAN ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS BERNAMA MAHATHIR MOHAMAD MALAYSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SYED HAMID ALBAR MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT MRS. ARROYO MRS. ARROYO AND ABDULLAH MYANMAR AND VIETNAM
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