JAKARTA, 20 NOV – Malaysia is profoundly concerned over the loss of so many lives due to the escalation of violence in and around the Gaza Strip.
Expressing his sentiments strongly, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said that at this critical time, further loss of lives, suffering and destruction should stop and parties must exercise utmost restraint and deescalation.
“Malaysia condemns terrorism, in all its forms, and we categorically condemn the actions of killing innocent lives and taking women and children as hostages. “By the same token, we unequivocally condemn the bombing of civilians, homes and hospitals and the consequential massacre of innocent lives, children, women and men.
“Malaysia reiterates its resolute call for an immediate ceasefire, unimpeded humanitarian access, and a rejection of any attempt to forcefully displace the Palestinian people from their rightful land.
“Malaysia reaffirms its principled position that the Palestinians deserve their own independent and sovereign state, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Mohamad said in his address at the ’17th Asean Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM)’ abd ’10th ADMM-Plus’ in the Indonesian capital.
Mohahamad added that Malaysia also called on all parties to abide by the United Nstions General Assembly resolution passed on Oct 27 on the ‘Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations’.
He was responding to the ongoing Hamas-Israeli conflict in Gaza.
As for the views of Asean countries – which deliberated on the security interests of their region – on the Palestine issue, Mohamad stated that each country had its own perspective but generally agreed that the situation needed urgent attention to prevent the loss of lives.
Mohamad, who witnessed the ADMM’s Indonesian chair handover to Laos, said the discussions at ADMM encompassed regional security, cooperation, and the imperative to strengthen Asean centrality.
“Each member nation raised concerns specific to its region. “Malaysia focused on the South China Sea due to our maritime status and maintaining a strong position supporting open and free passage for all.
“We emphasised the importance of respecting international laws, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982,” Mohamad said.
He believed that the ADMM, being a platform for collective problem-solving, would allow collaborative efforts to amicably address the complexities of the South China Sea.
The ADMM-Plus, chaired by Indonesia’s Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, is a platform for Asean and eight dialogue partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the United States – to assess security and defence cooperation for regional peace, stability and development.
Meanwhile, Prabowo raised concerns about the deteriorating situation in Myanmar and called upon Asean member states to actively support the former in finding a lasting solution.
Recognising the interconnected nature of the world, Prabowo acknowledged that conflicts in one region could have ripple effects on others.
He underscored the significance of united efforts both locally and globally.
“Escalating conflicts in regions such as Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East elevate the risk of severe humanitarian crises.
“Realising this, Indonesia is actively engaging with various parties to resolve this issue and establish a humanitarian corridor for the victims in Gaza,” said Prabowo.
He called on the United Nations to take more robust actions to prevent similar conflicts. – airtimes.my
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