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Saturday, February 27, 2021

New US ambassador touches down in KL

 


The newly-appointed US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday evening.

McFeeters is returning to Malaysia for a second stint, having previously served at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur as the political counsellor from 2009 to 2011.

“It is wonderful to be back in Malaysia. During my time here 10 years ago, I was privileged to meet and work with many talented and dedicated Malaysians.

"I am looking forward to again working with the strong US Embassy team, which includes representatives from across the US government. Our overall goal is stronger relations with the Malaysian people and government," McFeeters said upon his arrival.

He said that newly-elected US President Joseph Biden has emphasised that the United States needs to work closely with its friends, allies, and partners around the world to combat a myriad of global challenges from public health and economic recovery to human trafficking and climate change.

"We are stronger when we work together. I look forward to leading a team that works with Malaysia in many areas, including by fostering mutually beneficial security cooperation; further strengthening economic ties that support tens of thousands of jobs in both Malaysia and the United States; and building more people-to-people ties, including through exchange programmes for young people.

"I know that we have a lot of work to do towards finally defeating Covid-19, but we are on that road together and I am glad that the Pfizer vaccine has successfully arrived in Malaysia and that the vaccine rollout has begun," he added.

McFeeters will begin meeting virtually with his embassy team and key counterparts while completing his required quarantine. He is accompanied by his wife Melanie and daughter Sara.

A diplomat, he previously served as deputy chief of mission in Baghdad, Iraq, senior adviser in the Office of the Counsellor to the Secretary of State, and principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs in Washington.

He has spent half of his 30-year career working in Southeast Asia, including as deputy chief of mission to Indonesia, as political counsellor at US Embassy Kuala Lumpur, and as deputy director of the State Department's Office of Maritime Southeast Asia.

He previously served in the US Air Force, attaining the rank of captain and has studied at the University of Notre Dame, University of New Mexico and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. A polyglot, McFeeters speaks Bahasa Malaysia, Indonesian, French, Spanish, and German. - Mkini

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