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Malaysia says won't recognise unilateral sanctions on supporters of Palestinian groups

Published 11/06/2023, 10:42 PM
Updated 11/06/2023, 11:05 PM
© Reuters. Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks at a press conference during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official visit, at Putrajaya, Malaysia, 05 November 2023. FAZRY ISMAIL/Pool via REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Malaysia said on Tuesday it will not recognise unilateral sanctions in response to a proposed U.S. law to level sanctions against foreign supporters of Hamas and other militant groups operating in Palestine.

The Hamas International Financing Prevention Act, aimed at cutting off international financing to the groups, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week and is awaiting voting by the Senate.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said his government was closely monitoring developments on the bill's passage, adding that it could affect Malaysia only if it is proven to provide material support to Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

"Any sanctions against Malaysia can also affect the assessment of the U.S. government and U.S. companies towards Malaysia, as well as affect U.S companies' investment opportunities in Malaysia," Anwar said in a written reply to parliament on Tuesday.

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 diplomatic relations with Israel.

© Reuters. Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks at a press conference during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official visit, at Putrajaya, Malaysia, 05 November 2023. FAZRY ISMAIL/Pool via REUTERS

Top Hamas leaders in the past have often visited Malaysia and met with its premiers.

Anwar previously rejected Western pressure to condemn Hamas and said the U.S. had raised concerns with Malaysia regarding its stance on Palestine.

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