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Malaysian Prime Minister to Visit White House in September

FILE - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak holds a bouquet of flowers presented to him upon arrival in New Delhi, India, March 31, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump will host Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for talks at the White House next month.

The White House announced the visit late Wednesday, saying Trump looks forward to discussing strengthening relations with “one of America’s closest partners in Southeast Asia.”

Malaysia’s foreign ministry said the leaders would further talk about national security, combating terrorism and extremism, and trade.

Relations between the United States and Malaysia warmed after Najib and former U.S. President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Obama became the first U.S. leader to visit Malaysia in more than 50 years when he traveled there in 2014.

But a massive corruption scandal involving a state investment fund founded by Najib has caused strains with the U.S. and other countries investigating allegations of embezzlement and money laundering.

The U.S. Justice Department has tried to seize $1.7 billion in assets linked to the probe.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing.