Dr M: There is only so much M'sia can do in the Middle East

NSTP Team

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has helped with efforts to resolve conflicts in the Middle East to the best of its ability, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir said he had met with several leaders in the Middle East and conveyed Malaysia’s stand on various issues facing the region.

“But, they stick to their own views. This is why Malaysia has failed to influence things in the Middle East even though we have always defended the Palestinians,” said Dr Mahathir during a townhall session with administrative and diplomatic services (PTD) officers here today (Aug 15).

The prime minister said this in response to a question on the country’s diplomatic roles in resolving conflicts.

On the issue of Palestine, Dr Mahathir said he had raised the matter with the United States in the past.

“I asked the US how they would feel if Texas was given to the Jews. I did not receive any reply.

“But, it seems that it is acceptable to hand over a land in (the) Arab (world) to the Jews,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said Malaysia would continue building strong bilateral ties with other nations, despite differences in ideologies and backgrounds.

“We always offer our assistance to resolve problems in other countries including the Philippines and Thailand.

“Since we have a certain level of influence, we use it (to help others),” he said. -- Report by Azura Abas, Hashini Kavishtri Kannan, Mohd Husni Mohd Noor and Zanariah Abd Mutalib © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd