Updated: 04/19/2014 03:44 | By Agence France-Presse

No Obama meeting for Malaysia's Anwar

President Barack Obama does not plan to see Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim when he is in Kuala Lumpur next week, though US officials on Friday did not rule out a lower-level meeting.


No Obama meeting for Malaysia's Anwar

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 7, 2014 - by Manan Vatsyayana

Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit Malaysia in nearly half a century when he touches down in the country on April 26.

Washington has expressed disquiet about what it says are politically motivated charges to keep the veteran opposition leader out of Malaysian politics.

In March, the Malaysian Court of Appeals overturned Anwar's 2012 acquittal on sodomy charges which date from a bitter power struggle with his then rival, prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, in the 1990s.

Anwar, 66, was sentenced to five years in jail but is currently free pending an appeal to the Federal Court, Malaysia's highest judicial body.

Asked whether Obama would make time during his schedule in Malaysia, which includes a state dinner and talks with Prime Minister Najib Razak, national security advisor Susan Rice indicated he would not.

"I think that the president is not likely to have that meeting -- there may be other engagements at other levels," said Rice.

Obama will however hold a town hall meeting with what he calls young leaders from all over Southeast Asia and will also meet civil society representatives in Kuala Lumpur.

Obama's trip, which begins in Japan, also includes stops in South Korea and the Philippines.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。