Selangor Journal
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks at the monthly Finance Ministry staff gathering in Putrajaya on May 7, 2024. — Picture via FACEBOOK/ANWAR IBRAHIM

Anwar repeats call for US to help halt hostilities in Gaza

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has once again urged the United States to do whatever necessary to halt Israeli hostilities in Gaza.

In an interview with Al Jazeera yesterday, Anwar said the superpower has the pull to do so.

“The US should do whatever is necessary to stop the hostilities… They have the influence, mechanism and the diplomatic skills, all combined to be able to force Israel to stop (the atrocities),” he said on “Talk To Al Jazeera”.

Anwar said the United States and most Western countries seem to be hypocritical, despite their lectures on human rights and democracy, by tolerating the obvious atrocities against the innocent population in Gaza.

Asked by presenter Sami Zeidan whether he agrees Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, Anwar said given the number of casualties and the extent of the devastation, with no opportunity for children, women or the elderly to survive, no other term could be applicable.

“No one in the right mind can deny the fact that it’s either ethnic cleansing or gross apartheid or genocide. Clearly, it has come to that,” he said.

Anwar said he was disappointed with Washington’s response to Malaysia’s appeal, saying he cannot bear to see the atrocities inflicted upon women and children.

“I did appeal to the United States, particularly in front of President Joe Biden, who listened very attentively to my passionate call. There was no response. But I was addressing it as a friend,” he said.

Asked whether the United States is pressuring Malaysia to change its stance on the Gaza conflict, Anwar said it has not been done obliquely, as Malaysia maintains good relations with Washington.

He said Malaysia has always taken a strong position on the Palestinian cause, consistent with its foreign policy of defending human rights and the legitimate aspirations of all nations.

On his meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar recently, Anwar said it was purely diplomatic, and was aimed at persuading the group to understand others’ concerns.

He explained it was something Qatar did when attempting to secure the release of hostages from Hamas.

“I made reference to the Emir of Qatar, who would take the position that benefits the international community … Whether you like it or not, (Hamas) does represent some portion of the Palestinian people in Gaza, you cannot deny that,” said Anwar.

— Bernama

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