David Cameron to return on July 30 for talks with Najib

David Cameron to return on July 30 for talks with Najib
David Cameron
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR - David Cameron, the first British prime minister to visit Malaysia in almost two ­decades in 2012, is keeping his promise to return.

The Conservative leader who led his party to an outright victory in the recent British polls will arrive on July 30.

Cameron's visit will just be for a few hours but he will be making the best of it.

As part of a four-leg tour of the region, he wants a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Diplomatic officials here said Najib would be back from Europe in time to receive Cameron, who has reiterated Britain's keen interest to step up ties with Malaysia.

The British leader wants more trade between the nations and will have three trade-related ministers and a 30-strong business delegation in tow.

This would be an opportunity for both leaders to give each other a pat on the back, said a top official at Wisma Putra.

He said Cameron would be returning on a stronger footing after his impressive polls showing.

"Najib is ready to do more with Britain. So the time is right for a pow-wow between them," the official said.

Aside from bilateral interests and regional and international issues, defence procurement and anti-­terrorism co-operation are expected to also be on Cameron's agenda.

British Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne was here in March to meet with Najib.

Another topic of interest will be the increasing Islamic State terror threat.

Britain has joined hands with the United States to form a special task force to deal with the threat and officials here said Malaysia could be the first in the region to be involved in this partnership.

Another area of common interest would be education, with five offshore British university campuses already in Malaysia.

The first was the University of Nottingham in 2000 while the ­others were Newcastle University Medical School, University of Southampton Engineering School, University of Reading and Heriot-Watt University.

Britain has named 2016 the Year of British Education in Malaysia.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell said earlier that British universities were keen to contribute to the objectives of the Malaysian Education Blue­print.

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