KUALA LUMPUR: United States President Barack Obama (pic) has commended Malaysia for opening its doors and supporting refugees and asylum seekers from the world's various troubled spots.
Obama, who is here for Asean-related meetings, noted that Malaysia was currently home to some 150,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
"I want to acknowledge the Malaysian government's efforts in welcoming and supporting refugees from around the world," he said.
Obama said this during a discussion with a group of young adult refugees who have completed the process to resettle in the United States. The meeting was organised in conjunction with US leader's visit to the Dignity for Children Foundation in Sentul here Saturday.
Speaking at the last United Nations General Assembly session, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak indicated Kuala Lumpur's intention to take in some 3,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the troubled Middle-Eastern country.
Earlier this year, Malaysia and Indonesia had to deal with the issue of illegal migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, agreeing to offer temporary shelter to 7,000 of them, provided that the resettlement and repatriation process would be done in one year by the international community.
In calling for more compassion in response to a global migrant crisis, he said some 60 million people had been forcibly displaced around the world.
Facing discrimination and hardship, they deserved the world's support and protection, he said.
Obama flew into Malaysia Frirday for the 3rd Asean-US Summit as well as the 10th East Asia Summit in conjunction with the 27th Asean Summit, which opened Saturday. - Bernama