CANBERRA, March 2 (Bernama) — Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrived here Wednesday for a three-day official visit to Australia.
The whirlwind trip is his first to Australia since assuming the premiership in April 2009, and a packed itinerary has been lined up for him in Canberra and Melbourne.
Najib was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and senior officials.
The special aircraft carrying Najib and his delegation touched down at the Defence Establishment Fairbairn here at 9.35pm (6.35pm Malaysian time).
On hand to receive Najib were Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia Datuk Salman Ahmad and Australian Special Minister of State for Public Service and Integrity Gary Grey, who represented Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The visit is at the invitation of Gillard in reciprocation to her official visit to Malaysia last year.
Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said the visit underlined the strong bilateral relations which had been established for more than half a century.
“It will provide the opportunity for both Malaysia and Australia to exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest,” it said.
Najib will be accorded an official welcome at the Parliament House forecourt here on Thursday, which will be followed by a restricted meeting with his Australian counterpart and a bilateral meeting with senior members of both delegations.
Najib is also scheduled to witness the signing of memorandums of understanding in the areas of education and sports.
He is also scheduled to meet Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott before proceeding to Melbourne to attend a dinner hosted by Premier of Victoria Ted Baillieu.
In Melbourne, Najib will be conferred an honorary doctorate from the renowned Monash University and he is slated to visit Melbourne University as well.
Najib is also scheduled to attend a roundtable discussion with Australian captains of industry in Melbourne.
Source : Bernama