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PM Anwar: Malaysia, Singapore both call for ceasefire and humanitarian aid amid renewed Palestine-Israel conflict

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, Oct 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that despite the diplomatic differences, both Malaysia and Singapore share a common position on an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian assistance on the current Israel-Palestine conflict.

This common position by Malaysia and Singapore is in supporting the United Nations (UN) resolution for a ceasefire that is very critical for now.

“This also includes humanitarian assistance and that position is jointly endorsed by both countries, as well as a majority countries in the world,” he said during a joint press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the 10th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat in Singapore today.

Both Anwar and Lee were earlier asked to comment on their respective country’s stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict and if this would affect the bilateral relationship.

Anwar said Malaysia takes a much stronger position on the Israel-Palestine conflict, which he said stemmed from the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

“What is important now is peace and to put a stop to the killings of civilians, (of) babies and women,” he said.

Anwar, who is a strong advocate for the Palestinian cause, said he has been in contact with many Arab leaders and has expressed Malaysia’s support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Meanwhile, Lee said that both Malaysia and Singapore have already stated their respective positions on the conflict.

“Singapore has made statements (regarding the Israel and Palestine conflict) with the hope that the two parties can make progress towards a negotiated two-state solution to the Middle East,” he said.

Lee believed that Singapore’s and Malaysia’s different positions on the issue would not affect ties between the neighbouring countries.

He said Malaysia’s situation is not the same as Singapore’s as the republic maintains diplomatic relations with Israel, but also has friendly relations with the Palestine authority.

“Malaysia, on the other hand, has friendly relations with the Palestine authority, but does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

“Our diplomatic situation is not identical, but there’s no reason for that to cause a difficulty between Malaysia and Singapore,” he said.

Anwar arrived in Singapore yesterday for the 10th Malaysia–Singapore Leaders’ Retreat that is hosted by Singapore.

The two-day retreat, which is a key annual platform for both the prime ministers to meet and discuss bilateral issues, is the first to be held since the Covid-19 pandemic.