The US has welcomed the release from prison and the full pardon of Malaysian political leader Anwar Ibrahim and said that it looks forward to working with the new government in Kuala Lumpur.
Anwar, 70, walked free yesterday after receiving a royal pardon over a sodomy conviction, paving the way for his return to national politics as the presumptive successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, the world’s oldest leader at 92.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “The United States welcomes the release from prison and the full pardon of Malaysian political leader Anwar Ibrahim. His conviction and detention raised serious concerns about the rule of law in Malaysia”.
“We are glad that he has been reunited with his family. We look forward to working with the new government in Malaysia to further strengthen the US-Malaysia Comprehensive Partnership,” Nauert said.
The release of Anwar came soon after the historic win of Mahathir in recent elections. Mahathir became prime minister after leading a four-party alliance in the election campaign.
Mahathir is the chairman of the alliance and Anwar is its de-facto leader. Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is currently the deputy premier.