KUALA LUMPUR: It is up to any country, including Saudi Arabia, to decide if it wants to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).
"Firstly, there is no compulsion in Islam. If they want to, it's up to them. If they want to come, or not come, it is their right to take whatever decision they want.
"But mostly, this conference have attracted – if not head of governments – at least their representatives and scholars from all over the world.
"We are quite satisfied with the attendance," he told reporters during a press conference after the closing ceremony of the summit on Saturday (Dec 21).
Leaders of Muslim nations, including Saudi rivals Iran, Turkey and Qatar, attended the four-day summit, with some alleging that the summit was aimed at rivalling the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-member pan-Islamic body headquartered in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
Elaborating on his speech earlier about sanctions on Iran and Qatar, Dr Mahathir said that he was against sanctions or blockage against any countries, and deemed it as a criminal act.
"A sanction is a criminal act because you are not only punishing the country concerned but other countries as well.
"When they applied sanctions on Iran, we lost our market and Iran is a big market for us and trade between us had been reduced to almost nothing," added the Prime Minister.
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