Anwar: Malaysia stands firm on Palestine; we'll take the risk

RIYADH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emphasised that Malaysia is aware and anticipates that there will be reactions from some countries in the West regarding Malaysia's firm stance in advocating for the Palestinian people.

The prime minister stated that he has no choice but to raise the issue of Palestine and the ongoing atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza, even though there may be some small risks involved.

"I have no choice. When it comes to diplomacy, there are things we can tolerate; but at the same time, there is suffering in Gaza, with killings involving the lives of children and women. Yes, there is a risk, but our concern is what the Palestinian people are facing," he said.

Speaking to Malaysian journalists before concluding his two-day working visit during the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit here today, Anwar said that Malaysia is not alone in advocating for the Palestinian cause and condemning the violence of the Israeli government.

He said that many countries now share the same opinion.

"There is a consensus, not just on the issue of humanity in Gaza but its implications on the future of international politics," he said.

When asked if Malaysia would take the initiative among ASEAN and GCC countries to take Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Anwar said that the government has expressed its views.

"I have had discussions with (the leaders of other) ASEAN countries, the King of Bahrain (Hamad bin Isa bin Salman), the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan) and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

"I will also leave Riyadh to meet Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish President) and Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (Egyptian President). All of them have agreed. We do not want to be alone in addressing the issue of Palestine. We will discuss with them, and I have already called many other world leaders to reach a consensus in making a decision," he said.

The prime minister also reiterated that while the country requires focus, advocating for Palestinians and their rights is a humanitarian responsibility.

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