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Malaysia proposes Muslim nations severe ties with Israel


KOTA TINGGI, (Bernama) -- Malaysia, as the chair of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), has proposed that Islamic countries having diplomatic relations with Israel sever the ties and recall their envoys in response to the Jewish state's atrocities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said today the proposal was put forward at an extraordinary meeting of OIC foreign ministers on Israeli aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, two days ago.

"We suggested that Islamic countries having diplomatic relations with Israel sever the ties or recall their ambassadors temporarily to show that we are serious and do not engage in mere empty talk," he said after giving out aid donated by Bank Rakyat for flood victims.

Syed Hamid said that the proposal, though difficult to implement, was agreed to in principle by the OIC countries and that OIC Secretary-General Prof Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was following up on the matter.

He said Islamic countries should have an action plan that could be translated to the international community to resolve the problem of Palestine and which did not depend on words alone.

Syed Hamid said Malaysia also proposed at the meeting that Israel be referred to the Human Rights Commission over its atrocities against the people of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is Islam's third holiest place after Mekah and Madinah.

Malaysia also suggested that the OIC obtain the advice of experts of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israeli action in Palestine for a resolution from the court based in The Hague, the Netherlands, he said.

Syed Hamid said Malaysia had also suggested that the Palestine issue should also be brought to the United Nations' Security Council and its members be asked to come up with action against Israel.

"What is happening now is that various resolutions are put forward (to the UN Security Council) but there is no action against Israel," he said, adding that the world would be saddled with the problem so long as the Jewish regime ignores international opinion on Palestine.

Malaysia, he said, would continue to raise the issue of Israeli occupation of Palestine though there may be quarters which are uneasy over Kuala Lumpur's bold stand.

The foreign minister called on the world to respect the Palestinian unity government established after leaders of the Fatah and Hamas factions reached agreement at talks held in Mekah recently.

"Hamas' victory in democratic elections is not accepted. The unity achieved by Hamas and Fatah is not accepted. In the end, where do we place them?" he asked when commenting on the reluctance of the United States and European countries to recognise the new Palestinian government led by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

On his visit to Islamabad, Pakistan, tomorrow, Syed Hamid said he would attend a meeting of foreign ministers of seven Islamic countries on the latest developments in Palestine.

The seven countries -- Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey -- would attempt to draw up a new Palestine-Israel peace plan to be forwarded to the United States, the European Union and Israel, he said.

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