Najib, Trump in talks at White House

Ground crew members escort a Boeing 737 MAX as it returns from a flight test at Boeing Field in Seattle Washingt

The veteran prime minister faces allegations that billions were looted from a sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in complex overseas deals that are being investigated by authorities in several countries, including the United States.

Mr. Trump didn't mention the investigation during his public appearance with Mr. Najib.

Mr Najib will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysia Airlines and Boeing Aircraft Corporation, speak at a dinner with the US-Asean Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce, and give the keynote speech at a forum at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Trump is also likely to reiterate thanks for Malaysia's efforts to assist the USS John S. McCain, which collided with a tanker as the destroyer was on its way to Singapore, tearing a huge hole in the hull and leaving 10 sailors dead.

During a face-to-face at the White House, Trump thanked Razak for his country's investments in USA companies and for helping combat ISIS jihadists.

The United States can count on Malaysia to be a "staunch and steadfast friend" and partner in their shared quest for peace, prosperity and security in the 21st-century, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said.

"He also is a subject of the largest foreign kleptocracy investigation ever launched by the US Justice Department".

Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Malaysian Ambassador to the United States Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa. The criminal probe into Prime Minister Najib Razak centers around billions of dollars in assets the U.S. claims were acquired using a government fund and laundered through American firms.

Appearing with Trump at the White House, Najib said he would like to invest in Trump's infrastructure programme and Malaysia remains committed to fighting Islamic State, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

"Not only is Mr Najib known for imprisoning peaceful opponents, silencing critical media and reversing Malaysia's progress toward democracy", the paper wrote.

Analysts say they are not surprised Trump hosted Najib.

A senior USA official acknowledged it was unusual to meet with Najib while 1MDB was under regulatory scrutiny.

Getting Malaysia off the "trade cheats" list of the U.S. and kick-starting talks on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) will be among the issues on the cards as United States and Malaysian officials meet in Washington this week, The Star reported.

The U.S. Justice Department sued to seize some $1.7 billion in assets it said were bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds.

The investigation included an alleged $681 million transfer into the prime minister's personal account, Reuters reported.

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