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Malaysia does not agree with Western pressure to condemn Hamas: PM Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia does not agree with Western pressure to condemn Palestinian militant group Hamas, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on Monday (Oct 16), amid widespread outrage over this month’s deadly attack on southern Israel.

Western and European countries have repeatedly asked Malaysia to condemn Hamas in meetings, Anwar said, without providing details.

“I said that we, as a policy, have a relationship with Hamas from before and this will continue,” Anwar told parliament.

“As such, we don’t agree with their pressuring attitude, as Hamas too won in Gaza freely through elections and Gazans chose them to lead.”

Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and has advocated for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It does not have a diplomatic relation with Israel.

Top Hamas leaders in the past have often visited Malaysia and met with its premiers. Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak in 2013 defied Israel’s blockade on Gaza, crossing into the Palestinian enclave following an invitation from Hamas.

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