By Zehra Ulucak
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AA) – Malaysia will not host any events involving Israel in the future, the country’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
"The Cabinet decision is reflective of the firm stand of the Malaysian government," Saifuddin Abdullah told a news conference following a meeting on Palestine, according to local daily Malay Mail.
The cabinet affirmed last week that no Israeli delegates will be allowed to enter Malaysia for sports or any other events, Abdullah said.
The government also maintains its decision to ban Israeli athletes from competing at the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships to be held in the eastern state of Sarawak in July, he added.
Malaysia, a majority-Muslim country and a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause — do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Last month, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad slammed Australia’s decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying countries had “no rights” to do so.
Thousands of Malaysians also took to the streets last December to protest Washington’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
More than 600 athletes from 70 countries are set to compete at the championships to be held from July 29 to Aug. 4.
The competition will serve as one of the qualifying events for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.