Asia - Pacific

Malaysia’s Mahathir dubs Israel ‘a state of robbers’

Malaysian premier says his country enjoys friendly relations with every country except for Israel

Aamir Latif   | 22.03.2019
Malaysia’s Mahathir dubs Israel ‘a state of robbers’ Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad

KARACHI, Pakistan

Dubbing Israel as “a state of robbers”, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday said his country enjoys friendly relations with every country in the world except for Israel. 

“We are not against Jews but we cannot recognize Israel because of (its) occupation of Palestinian land,” Mahathir said in his remarks, aired by local broadcasters, during his three-day visit to Pakistan on Friday.

“You cannot seize others’ lands, and form a state. It’s like a state of robbers”, he went on to say.

His remarks came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said it was time for the U.S. to recognize Israel's control of the occupied Golan Heights.

Israel has long pushed Washington to recognize its claim over the territory it seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 -- an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Malaysia inked $900 million trade and investment agreements, according to local broadcaster Dunya TV.

The deals include the establishment of a car plant in Pakistan by Malaysian automotive firm Proton Holdings.

In addition to that, various other deals in telecommunications, Halal food , and information technology were also inked, the broadcaster reported.

Finance Minister Asad Umar told reporters that Malaysia had shown interest in procurement of JF-17 Thunder aircraft from Pakistan.

The two sides also agreed to open branches of their respective banks in each other’s countries, he added.

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