U.S. President Obama on Sunday welcomed Malaysia's move to join a multinational effort that aims to halt the spread of unconventional weapons.
"Obviously we are working on this issue for a long time," the U.S. leader said during a press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Malay Mail Online reported.
Malaysia has been informally supporting the efforts of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative for years. Kuala Lumpur's decision to endorse the initiative's Statement of Interdiction Principles formalizes that relationship, Najib said.
"This relationship will continue what we have done and also reflects strong will and desire on the Malaysian side, to not only cooperate with the U.S., but with the international community to stop proliferation" of weapons of mass destruction, the prime minister said.
"We have developed a lot of capacity research, but this is a partnership; what we seek to do is to find ways [in] which the strength of information that each side has, can be enhanced and combined and pooled," Obama said during his three-day trip to the Southeast Asian state.
More than 100 countries have endorsed the PSI principles, which commit them to collaborate with one another in interdicting suspected shipments of chemical, biological, nuclear and missile-related materials as they are transported over sea, through the air and across land.