Saudi Arabia, Malaysia issue joint statement at end of PM’s visit

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  • Anwar Ibrahim thanks Saudi crown prince for “passionate and timely” remarks on Gaza, decries ‘hypocrisy’ in international politics
RIYADH: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has decried as “insanity” the situation unfolding in Gaza, warning that the world is not blind to the “hypocrisy” of Western leadership as it has repeatedly failed to condemn Israeli aggression, and drawing marked parallels with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Arab News on Friday on the sidelines of the inaugural GCC-ASEAN Summit in Riyadh, Anwar said the conflict in the Middle East had exposed what he saw as a proclivity for “contradiction and hypocrisy” in international politics, noting that there is “talk about human rights on one end,” but the denial of those same rights to others.

“A good student of history and geopolitics wouldn’t be necessarily surprised that there is so much contradiction and hypocrisy in the arena of international politics,” he said.  

“For example, it condemns Russia for the aggression because of the Russian decision to take a Russian enclave in Ukraine. Fair. That is condemned. But with Israeli aggression taking over the legitimate lands of the Palestinians, that is condoned.

“Not only that (the aggression) is supported and defended. We must wake up and see the stark hypocrisy that cannot continue.”

In his opening address at the summit, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “As we gather, we are saddened by the escalating violence that Gaza is witnessing today, the price of which is being paid by innocent civilians.”

The crown prince underscored the need to “stop military operations against civilians ... and to create conditions for the return of stability and the achievement of lasting peace that ensures reaching a just solution to establish a Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders.”

Anwar said it was “no exaggeration” to describe the Saudi crown prince’s remarks as “passionate and timely,” adding that it was vital for an Arab leader to take not only a “firm” position on the crisis in Gaza but also one based on “humanitarian grounds.”

He described his immediate response as a desire to thank the crown prince, and to say that “we are with you and the GCC because of what you see, and when you take the lead, it will have a powerful impact.”

Anwar said Malaysia was fully behind the efforts of Saudi Arabia and the GCC to bring the fighting to a close and prevent the outbreak of a wider war.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s remarks formed part of a wider collective plea from the summit leaders, who issued a statement calling on all the parties involved in the conflict to implement a permanent ceasefire and condemn the attacks against Gaza’s civilian population.

It further emphasized the need to adhere to international humanitarian law, especially principles and provisions of the Geneva Convention regarding Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, while also urging the much-needed delivery of humanitarian aid, relief supplies and other essential necessities and services to Gaza.

Crown prince expressed his appreciation for Malaysia’s support for Saudi bids to host Expo 2030 and the 2034 FIFA World Cup
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Malaysia issued a joint statement on Sunday at the end of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to the Kingdom.

During a meeting with Ibrahim at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his appreciation for Malaysia’s support for Saudi bids to host Expo 2030 and the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

Ibrahim thanked the Kingdom for serving the two holy mosques and pilgrims, and praised the high level of coordination between the two countries to achieve the comfort of Malaysian pilgrims.

Regarding the situation in Gaza, the two sides stressed the need to stop all forms of military escalation in the Palestinian territories and to protect civilians.

They also said the international community must play its role in pressuring Israel to stop its plans to occupy the Gaza Strip and warned against the forced displacement of Palestinians.

The two countries called on the international community to work to compel Israel to respect international laws and to allow international humanitarian organizations to carry out their role in providing humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people.

The countries stressed the importance of intensifying efforts to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and returning to serious and effective negotiations to achieve peace in accordance with the principle of a two-state solution, the relevant international legitimacy resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Ibrahim also welcomed the Kingdom’s resumptions of diplomatic relations with Iran. The two countries stressed the importance of Tehran’s commitment to the peacefulness of its nuclear program, full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the importance of regional countries participating in any negotiations for a nuclear deal.

The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the following areas:

  • Renewable energy and technology related to it
  • Environment, water, agriculture and food security
  • Communications, technology, digital economy, innovation, and space
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Higher education, research, innovation, and media
  • Health and supporting global initiatives to confront current and future pandemics, risks, and health challenges

culled from Arab News


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