President Benigno Aquino (third right) prepares to inspect an honour guard with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) and King Abdul Halim during a welcoming ceremony outside the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
MANILA: President Benigno S Aquino III returned to Manila early this morning from his two-day state visit to Malaysia.
Aquino described his first visit to Kuala Lumpur since he assumed office in 2010 as “quick” but “fruitful,” citing his meetings with the Filipino community there and with Malaysian leaders led by Prime Minister Najib Razak as well as with businessmen.
During his trip, President Aquino personally invited Najib to witness later this month the signing of a comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Milf), the largest Muslim rebel group in the country.
Malaysia has been brokering the government and Milf peace process since 2001.
Aquino said he and his Malaysian counterpart also agreed to further strengthen the cooperation on trade, defence and security between the two neighbouring countries.
In his meeting with the Malaysian businessmen, Aquino said he personally invited them to invest in southern Philippines.
With his trip to Malaysia, according to Aquino, he now visited all the nine other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which the Philippines is also a member.
The Philippine Star