A big 'thank you' from Obama for warm welcome and hospitality

KUALA LUMPUR - US President Barack Obama conveyed his heartiest thanks to all Malaysians for the warm welcome and hospitality during his recent visit here.

US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Yun said Obama had asked him to convey his thanks to the Government, especially to several Cabinet Minis­ters such as Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, for being gracious hosts during his visit.

"He (Obama) was very much moved by the welcome shown to him by Malaysians. He was also impressed by the crowd that lined up to (catch a glimpse of him) in his (travel) routes here," said Yun during a media roundtable meeting at the embassy yesterday.

Yun noted that from personal observation, he believed the visit by Obama, the first US President since Lydon B. Johnson in 1966, was successful as the relationship between the two countries was further strengthened through comprehensive partnership.

He added that Obama's good relationship with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak augured well as they met several times through multilateral and bilateral meetings.

"It was like old friends meeting. I am reminded that when they meet, I don't need to brief the President (Obama) much as they know each other," said Yun.

Asked on the Trans-Pacific Part­nership Agreement (TPPA), Yun said he believed the negotiations could be concluded within Obama's presidential term, which ends in January 2017.