Malaysia To Join Cobra Gold Military Exercises

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia said June 3 that the U.S. has approved its participation in the regional "Cobra Gold" military exercises, as ties between the countries emerge from a long freeze.
Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the move was made during his meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the U.S. last week
The U.S. defense secretary had agreed to upgrade Malaysia's participation in Cobra Gold, an exercise carried out with several other countries where Malaysia was previously merely an observer," he said according to the state news agency Bernama.
The huge exercises, which have been running for some three decades, involve among others the militaries of the Philippines, Singapore, the U.S., and Thailand which hosted the 2010 session.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia's involvement would help it improve techniques and war strategy including the use of sophisticated equipment. He said other agreements were struck with the U.S. including on officer training and aircraft maintenance.

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