FM: Don’t lose sight of freedom for Palestine

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has urged the international community not to lose sight of the objective of ensuring the freedom of Palestine with the escalation of hostilities in the Middle East.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the objective must be to work towards the freedom of the Palestinians and their rights to their own land.

“Any distraction from this objective is what Israel wants, which is to deflect the global community’s attention from their nefarious, inhumane and unconscionable acts in Palestine.

“Malaysia further echoes the call by the United Nations secretary-general for an immediate cessation and end of these hostilities.

“Any form of attack, offensive or defensive, will have consequences that, if it spirals out of control, will ultimately lead to the deaths of many more innocent lives.

“The government of Malaysia urges the parties concerned to de-escalate and create the necessary environment to end this conflict immediately.

“The main objective is to find peace and a permanent solution to the plight of the Palestinian people and not widen the conflict,” Mohamad added in a statement yesterday.

Following Iran’s attack on Israel, countries in the region had resorted to closing their airspace, while airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Air India, Qantas and Lufthansa have rerouted their flights temporarily in fear of the developments and escalated tensions.

The Foreign Minister said once the attacks had ended, Iran through its Permanent Mission at the UN announced that it considered its actions against Israel justifiable and “can be deemed concluded”.

“However, Iran asserts that should the Israeli regime or its allies were to ‘make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe’, thus creating a never-ending cycle of violence.

“Any further form of provocation or retaliation could ignite a devastating region-wide conflict that will not serve the region or the Palestinian cause.”

Wisma Putra also issued a travel advisory to warn Malaysians currently in Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq to be fully prepared to have their schedules disrupted.

“Malaysians in the region should be prepared for potential disruptions to flight schedules and are advised to make necessary adjustments to their travel plans.

“In case of an emergency or if one requires assistance while abroad, kindly contact the nearest Malaysian embassy or consulate,” said Wisma Putra.

In Kuching, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof advised Malaysians from travelling to the region for now as it may be risky.

He also said the Foreign Ministry needs to monitor the safety of Malaysians in high-risk countries, including monitoring their whereabouts.

“I would like to advise Malaysians to avoid going to high-risk places, be it Iran or any nearby countries,” he told reporters after attending Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house here yesterday.

Meanwhile, business continues between Malaysian businessmen and their Iranian counterparts.

“Iran and Iranians are survivors of many US sanctions as well as having gone through the Islamic Revolution back in 1979.

“I have been doing business importing agricultural goods such as dates and pistachios for two decades now.

“Even when things were tough, my business was not affected, as they always found a way to get my goods to me,” said Osman Ahmad, who is based in Kuala Lumpur.

Another businessman who also imports dates from the Middle East and wants to be known as Malik said he has been doing business with the countries in the region for 30 years.

“Even back in the 1980s when there was an all-out war between Iran and Iraq and the US intervened, my business was not affected.

“Malaysia has much trade with Iran, which dates back to decades, and this is why even when the going gets tough, our Iranian counterparts make it a point to ensure business goes on,” said Malik, who is based in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

Iran’s attack comes six months into Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, with Israel blaming Iran for aiding Palestinian freedom fighters Hamas.

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Middle East , Mohamad Hasan , Palestine


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