KUALA LUMPUR: The decision on whether Malaysia should place its embassy in Jerusalem would only be made after the finalisation of the two-state solution for the Palestine-Israel issue, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said that this is in line with Malaysia's stance that abided by the United Nations (UN) charter in respecting the disputed status of Jerusalem.
He described any move to place Malaysia's embassy in Jerusalem – without respecting the UN charter – will send out the wrong signal of acknowledging the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as a capital of Israel.
"The US decision is condemned by the global community. Therefore, we do not want to make the same move. On the contrary, the best move would be to make way for talks via the Palestine-Israel two-state solution," he said today.
He was answering a question from Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (PKR-Tumpat) as to whether the government would be setting up a Malaysian embassy in Jerusalem to strengthen its support for Palestine.
In answering Kamarudin's supplementary question on whether Malaysia would follow in the heels of 13 countries that seek to place their embassies in Ramallah, Reezal pointed out that there are other ways to show solidarity on the Palestine issue.
He said the 13 countries could afford to make the decision (to set up embassies in Ramallah) because they have diplomatic ties with Israel.
"Just because we are not there (in setting up an embassy in Palestine), it does not mean that Malaysia and Palestine has no direct relations.
"Malaysia played an important role in backing Palestine at the UN by sponsoring the country (Palestine) to be accepted by the US as an observer in 2012," he said.
He said that Malaysia also sponsored the resolution to ensure the Palestinian flag was raised in 2015, as well as Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel's illegal settlement in Jerusalem.
He added that the resolution received the backing of 14 member countries of the United Nations Security Council.
Reezal noted that Malaysia has been fighting for Palestinians over the past 36 years.
He stressed that the country needs to regard the issue in its entirety and not just be focused on the mere idea or setting up a Malaysian embassy in Palestine.
*Reports by: NAZURA NGAH, HIDIR REDUAN, FAIRUL ASMAINI MOHD PILUS, VEENA BABULAL, LUQMAN ARIF ABDUL KARIM , AHMAD SUHAEL ADNAN