Govt releases Dr M’s letters to Israeli pms

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Government yesterday made public three letters sent by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to prime ministers of Israel which clearly show Malaysia’s firm stand against Israel’s illegal actions and atrocities against the Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the three letters were being made public in order to dispel allegations made by certain parties that the Malaysian Government has not been consistent on its stance with regard to Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

In a statement here yesterday, he said the three letters were;

a. Letter from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister dated 21 December 1993.

b. Letter from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister dated 14 March 1997.

c. Letter from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Ehud Barak, Israeli Prime Minister dated 8 June 1999.

During Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s visit to Melaka on Feb 24, 2012 and Sekinchan, Selangor on Feb 26, 2012, the Prime Minister had stated that the Government of Malaysia was ready to publish several letters from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to prime ministers of Israel.

“I wish to state that as a matter of policy, Malaysia has consistently over the years publicly supported the struggle of the Palestinian people for a just and lasting comprehensive solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict and for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

“The contents of these letters reflect Malaysia’s strong and principled stance against Israel’s illegal actions and atrocities that had undermined the peace process by urging Israel to fulfil its obligations by implementing and respecting all agreements signed between the Palestine and Israel,” said Anifah.

He said this included the Oslo Accords signed by the late Yasser Arafat on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Shimon Peres of Israel on 13 September 1993 on the Principles and Mutual Recognition between Israel and the PLO.

Anifah said as the prime minister then, Dr Mahathir had never expressed support for Israel, including its security in any of these letters, nor did they reflect implicitly or explicitly that Malaysia had diplomatic relations with Israel.

“Malaysia’s readiness to consider establishing relations with Israel is also contingent upon Israel’s implementation of all the requirements as stated in the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, including Palestine’s submission to become a full member of the UN on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif (East Jerusalem) as its capital. This has been the Malaysian Government’s position all these years,” he said.

Anifah said the letters also reflected the role of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Malaysia, as a responsible and respected leader of the international community in trying to facilitate in finding a just and lasting solution to the conflict and to restore the dignity of the long suffering Palestinian people. — Bernama