Palestine embassy in Jordan because Malaysia has no ties with Israel, says foreign minister

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah is pictured at Parliament October 17, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah is pictured at Parliament October 17, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Malaysia’s embassy for Palestine will be set in Amman, Jordan as the country has no diplomatic ties with Israel, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

“The ministry is of the view that it is more practical for it to be located in Amman, Jordan as Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

“This is the main reason why Malaysia cannot open a representative office in Ramallah in the West Bank.

“If a representative office is located in Ramallah, Malaysia would have to officially deal with Israel in terms of logistics, administration and business affairs,” he said during the Minister Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Saifuddin was responding to a question by Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (BN-Kepala Batas) on the details of the government’s plans to open a Malaysian embassy accredited to Palestine in Amman, Jordan, as well as how long the embassy would open and operate.

Saifuddin took into consideration Reezal Merican’s proposal for the government to appoint “honorary consul” among Palestinians who had good relations with both Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian authorities, saying it is a good proposal.

However, he said, if the honorary consul was created, it would have to be represented by both Hamas and Fatah factions in a sign of respect towards both parties.

“Malaysia is a small country but we are known for diplomacy, we understand the internal politics of the Palestinian people, so we must deal with them well,” he said.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Baku, Azerbaijan announced that Malaysia would open an embassy accredited to Palestine in Jordan to allow Malaysia to extend aid to the Palestinians more easily.

The move was lauded by Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM) Chairman Muslim Imran said the move came at the right time when Palestinians are under a lot of pressure to accept what is dubbed as the deal of the century — a peace plan proposed by the US to solve the Palestine-Israel conflict.

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