|Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak hold a joint press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on April 27, 2014. Obama started his three-day official visit to Malaysia on Saturday. (Xinhua/Chong Voonchung)
PUTRAJAYA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pledged here Sunday to promote bilateral ties between the two countries, while some issues remained to be resolved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiation.
During a bilateral meeting, the two leaders decided to upgrade the two countries' relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership, under which the dialogue mechanisms in various areas would be enhanced.
"This marks a new phase in our relationship: with greater collaboration on the economy, security, education, science, technology and more," said Najib.
As to the negotiation of TPP, admitting trade deals were always complex, Najib said the two countries were committed to resolving the remaining issues and he expressed his appreciation to Obama's understanding of Malaysia's sensitivities in it.
Malaysia was committed to the process of getting the acceptance of the people before signing the TPP, Najib added.
On his part, Obama said the TPP would benefit Malaysia in achieving high-income nation status by 2020, and the two leaders had agreed to move quickly in resolving the remaining issues mentioned by the Malaysian side.
On the missing MH370 incident, Najib expressed his gratitude towards the United States for its help in the search and investigation work. At the same time, after extending condolences to the people affected by the incident, Obama said the United States would continue to provide all the assistance it could in the search and investigation operation for the missing plane.
The two sides also exchanged their views on the issue of South China Sea, underscoring the importance of resolving the territorial and maritime disputes through peaceful means.