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Mattis, Malaysian Counterpart Confer on Regional Security Issues

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2017 — A discussion of regional security issues highlighted a phone call yesterday between Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said today.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, right, meets with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein during the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue Asia security summit in Singapore, June 4, 2017. DoD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, right, meets with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein during the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue Asia security summit in Singapore, June 4, 2017. The two defense leaders spoke by phone Dec. 4, 2017, to discuss regional security issues. DoD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, right, meets with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein during the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue Asia security summit in Singapore, June 4, 2017. DoD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr Sideline Meeting
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, right, meets with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein during the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue Asia security summit in Singapore, June 4, 2017. The two defense leaders spoke by phone Dec. 4, 2017, to discuss regional security issues. DoD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

In a statement summarizing the call, White said Mattis thanked his counterpart for Malaysia's support to the international community's efforts to pressure North Korea "to abandon its dangerous and illegal nuclear and missile programs," White said.

Preventing ISIS Foothold

"The secretary and the minister also discussed regional counterterrorism cooperation," she said.

White said the two leaders reaffirmed their shared appreciation of the situation and their desire to prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia.‎

The two defense leaders also exchanged views on enhancing U.S.-Malaysia bilateral defense cooperation, White said.