Malaysian Premier: 'Soleimani killing must unite Islamic countries'
Mahathir Mohamad slams the US military operation as "immoral" and contrary to international laws. " If anybody insults or says something that somebody doesn’t like, it is all right for that person ... to send a drone and have a shot at me." Recently, the prime minister raised controversy over the treatment of the Muslim minority in India and criticized the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Muslim countries should make a common front to protect themselves from external threats says Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking yesterday he said described the killing of the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by the US military as "immoral".
Despite being accused in recent months of fueling diplomatic tensions by intervening on issues related to the Islamic world, the world's oldest premier (94 years) also said that the US drone attack on the Qods special forces commander is contrary to international law.
The assassination of Soleimani - which took place in Baghdad on 3 January - has raised fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East. Mahathir claims that it could also lead to an escalation in "what is called terrorism". " The time is right for Muslim countries to come together,” Mahathir told reporters. “We are no longer safe now. If anybody insults or says something that somebody doesn’t like, it is all right for that person from another country to send a drone and perhaps have a shot at me."
Mahathir compared the killing of Soleimani with the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, stressing that both assassinations took place outside the borders of the responsible states. "This is also another act where one country decides on its own to kill the leaders of another country.Both are guilty of immoral acts, it is against the law," he added.
Mahathir tries to maintain good relations with Iran, despite US sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. About 10,000 Iranians live in Malaysia. Last month, the prime minister hosted Iranian president Hassan Rowhani in a conference between leaders of Muslim nations.
The Heads of state discussed how to relaunch business, trade in their currencies and keep up with non-Muslim countries. Mahathir's recent comments on the treatment of the Muslim minority in India and his criticisms of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation based in Saudi Arabia have exacerbated Malaysia's relations with New Delhi and Riyadh.
“I speak the truth," Mahathir said. "You do something that is not right, I think I have the right to speak out."