Najib, Obama agree to upgrade ties

US President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak both smile as they participate in a joint news conference at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya, Malaysia, April 27, 2014.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Sunday that he and US President Barack Obama agreed to upgrade the two countries' ties to a "comprehensive partnership."

"This marks a new phase in our relationship, with greater collaboration in economy, security, education, science, technology," Najib told a joint news conference with Obama following their discussion.

"We also decided to reinfigure senior officials' dialogues as a key forum for high-level discussion."

Najib also said that the two leaders, in a discussion about territorial tensions in the South China Sea, had agreed on the importance of upholding international law.