PM: I will attend Apec meet but no change in stand

Sheer terror: People fleeing following air strikes on a neighbourhood in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip amid ongoing Israeli attacks. — AFP

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders Week but will remain steadfast in her stand on the issue of Palestine, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said he was aware that the decision would not go well with certain groups.

“I am doing this in the interest of the country and I have maintained that we will continue to support Palestine.

“Do not judge me as pro-Israel,” he said at the Finance Ministry’s monthly gathering yesterday.

Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said there were parties which had expressed their opinion for him not to attend the meeting.

He said that he had sought views on the matter from other Apec member countries and so far, leaders of all the Asian nations as well as other Apec members would be attending the meeting.

“So, I have decided to attend the meeting.

“As Prime Minister, it is my responsibility to look after the interests of Malaysia in terms of security, peace, diplomatic relations and economy,” he said.

Anwar, however, maintained that Malaysia would remain firm on the issue of Palestine.

“We will continue to support justice and the rights of the people of Palestine,” he said.

On Oct 31, Opposition lawmaker Wan Ahmad Fayshal Wan Ahmad (PN-Machang) had asked the Prime Minister whether Malaysia would boycott the Apec meeting as a sign of solidarity for Palestine.

Apec, comprising 21 member countries, is a regional forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific.

It aims to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth by accelerating regional economic integration.

The meeting will be held in San Francisco from Nov 11 to 17.

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