Malaysia's new government 'strongly opposes' US embassy in Jerusalem

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s new government, led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has said it “strongly opposes” the decision by the United States to open an embassy in Jerusalem.

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser on the Middle East, said on Monday (May 14) that the United States showed the world it could be trusted by opening its embassy in Jerusalem.

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“When President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it,” Kushner said at the embassy’s opening ceremony. 

The first statement from the Malaysia’s foreign ministry – while a foreign affairs minister has yet to be appointed – under its new administration takes the same line as former prime minister Najib Razak’s government.

“Malaysia firmly believes that the move would further undermine and jeopardize efforts towards finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” it said.

“It would have grave repercussions not only towards the security and stability of the region, but would inflame sentiments and hamper any future peace negotiations”.

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The foreign ministry goes on to “reiterate its firm position that a two-state solution … based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, is the only viable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel. 

When Trump announced his plans for an embassy in Jerusalem, protests were organised by all major political parties. Najib’s Barisan Nasional coalition joined with Islamist party PAS, while Mahathir’s Pakatan Harapan held its own protest.


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