Malaysia & Germany call for lasting ceasefire in Gaza

BERLIN, March 12: Malaysia and Germany have called for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as well as the release of hostages and immediate humanitarian assistance to the Palestine people.

In making the call, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his German counterpart Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the international community must also strive for a two-state solution to solve the decades of conflict in the Middle East.

“Sometimes we have some differences, but I think there are issues like the war, Gaza where we do agree on an immediate ceasefire and call for humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine,” he said at a joint press conference with Scholz.

Earlier, Anwar who is here on a six-day visit to Germany, held a bilateral meeting with Scholz, with the Gaza conflict and two-state solution to end the decades of suffering of the Palestinian people among the issues discussed.

Anwar said Malaysia acknowledged the concern of what happened on Oct 7, 2023, when the conflict started between Hamas and Israel, but also appealed to the Europeans and Germany in particular, to take note of the decades of atrocities, plunder and dispossession of Palestinians.

Speaking on the same matter, Scholz said Germany – known as an ally of Israel – agreed with Malaysia that a long-lasting ceasefire was needed to find a peaceful solution to the Gaza crisis. 

The Chancellor said they were working closely with the United States and Arab countries to prevent the escalation of war and find a solution to the crisis.

“I wish we can find a lasting ceasefire during this Ramadan month, the release of hostages by Hamas. This can lead to more aid entering Gaza,” said Scholz, adding that he was glad that Anwar chose to visit Germany on the first day of Ramadan and had a break of fast with the Malaysian delegation.

Asked whether today’s meeting could influence the push for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Anwar said both countries could play their part in finding the solution.

“Well, Germany has established good relations with Israel. And we have slightly better relations with Palestine. The only solution for now is a permanent ceasefire and, ultimately, a two-state solution. And this can be done if the international community has the courage and the commitment,” said the prime minister.

On Malaysia’s relationship with Hamas, Anwar said the country’s foreign policy had been consistent over the years, citing its stand against apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

He said Malaysia had ties with the political wing of Hamas, stressing that the country had no relationships with any militant outfit.

Anwar also said the atrocities that had happened for decades could not be erased by looking at one side alone.

“The solution? Is not just releasing hostages.  Yes, yes, I did express my concern that those (hostages) must be released. But then can you say is that all? Full stop? Period? What about the settlements?” he said.