Escalating tensions in Middle East could cause economic fallout, says PM

Unending tenacity: Displaced Palestinians attempting to return to their homes in the north from south Gaza yesterday. — Reuters

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has called on all parties to work towards achieving a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East and avoid further escalation of aggression.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that for a lasting solution, the ongoing violence must come to an end.

He said the Malaysian government is closely monitoring the evolving global geopolitical developments and financial markets, adding that appropriate action will be taken to promote continued financial stability and orderly functioning of markets.

Anwar said the government is also concerned about the potential economic fallout from the current situation that could impact Malaysians.

“Regardless, Malaysia stands with the Palestinian people who continue to suffer in this terrible situation. It is time for all parties to exercise utmost restraint, and leading global stakeholders should demand a cessation of hostilities by all parties,” he said in a statement after a meeting last night to discuss the Middle East situation.

Among those at the meeting were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

The Prime Minister was responding to the escalating tensions between Iran and Israel on Saturday when Teheran launched drone and missile strikes against the Jewish state.

Earlier, speaking to reporters after launching the 5th International Conference on Dr Ambedkar at the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam yesterday, Anwar said Malaysia’s stance on the international level is to demand a peaceful resolution in the Middle East as the conflict there could affect global peace.

Asked if the government has decided on evacuating Malaysians from Iran, Anwar said the matter will be discussed.

On a separate issue, Anwar said Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh’s remarks against a Cabinet member were inappropriate in the context of the unity government.

“I don’t entertain such statements. In my view, it’s not (within) the proper context of our unity government. We should work together,” he said.

Anwar was responding to the recent statement by Dr Muhamad Akmal calling Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming “unwise”.

Dr Muhamad Akmal was reacting to Nga accusing those who called for a boycott of products as “instigators” out to ruin the domestic economy.

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Middle East , Anwar Ibrahim


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