SAN FRANCISCO: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia called for an immediate durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

The three member economies welcomed the 2023 APEC Economic Leaders’ Golden Gate Declaration that reflects consensus on all economic issues of common concern.

However, given that the Chair issued a separate Chair’s Statement on aggression in Ukraine, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia decided that they would do the same with regards to Gaza.

“We therefore agreed to issue the following statement to give a better and fair reflection of the discussions on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.”

The three countries noted with grave concern the immense human suffering and the adverse impact of wars and conflicts around the world.

“We underscored that conflicts can have significant consequences for the global economy.

“We called for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip,” said the joint statement by the three countries.

They underscored the need for an immediate, continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to civilians throughout the Gaza Strip.

“We reaffirmed that a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means, based on the relevant United Nations resolutions including the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/ES-10/L.25 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2712 and in accordance with international law, on the basis of the two-State solution, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir told the Malaysian media here that in addition to Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia, several APEC member economies, such as Chile, also gave the same view on the issue in Gaza.

“They are also of the view that the crisis in Gaza needs to be stopped immediately because it will affect the global economic climate,“ he said.

At this meeting, he said, there were many countries that agreed with Malaysia that a ceasefire should be implemented immediately and maintained the stance that the crisis in Palestine should be included in the APEC Leaders’ Golden Gate Declaration.

This is following a suggestion that the crisis between Russia and Ukraine should also be included in the statement.

“The only point of contention is one more aspect, which is the geopolitical statement, where there are differences of opinion among member countries because there is an effort to focus only on Ukraine,“ he said.

Zambry said countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei disagreed with the hypocrisy.

“Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei did not compromise on the matter, and then there were efforts until this morning, where I (representing Malaysia), Indonesia and Brunei also held final discussions with the representatives of the committee who were directed to meet the three of us.

“We still insist that if we want to include the geopolitical issue (in the leaders’ statement), it means that we also have to include the Gaza issue. Why do we want to deny it?” he said. - Bernama