Confusion in Dewan over 2-state solution in Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Maszlee Malik (left) wonders if Hadi Awang supports the government’s stand on a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

KUALA LUMPUR: There was confusion in the Dewan Rakyat today over the question of whether PAS accepts the government’s stand on a two-state solution in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Maszlee Malik (Ind-Simpang Renggam ) said Special Envoy to the Middle East Abdul Hadi Awang, who is also the PAS president, had rejected the two-state solution.

“But the foreign affairs ministry agrees to the two-state solution with Baitulmaqdis as the capital.

“Is the special envoy following the stand of the government or is he (sticking) with his previous stand to reject the two-state solution, which is also the stand of PAS,” Maszlee asked during the debate on the royal address today.

Special functions minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof replied that any decision on the two-state solution by the government will be discussed with Hadi, who is also the Marang MP.

“For now, our stand is still consistent, that is to reject the two-state solution. That is not a decision but we are discussing (the issue) and may bring it up to Parliament for debate,” he said.

Hearing this, Maszlee said he was confused over the differing statements by Redzuan and the foreign affairs ministry, but Redzuan said they were in the midst of “making a decision”.

Deputy speaker Rashid Hanson then asked Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein if he had any additional statement to make over the issue.

Hishammuddin clarified that the ministry’s stand was clear. He said it supported the two-state solution, which was also the stand taken by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The BN Sembrong MP clarified that PAS’ stand on the matter was taken before Hadi was appointed special envoy to the Middle East.

“I have also discussed with Hadi … the matter was (first) raised when PAS was still not in the government. It will be discussed at the PAS party level,” he said.

However, Maszlee maintained that the ministers’ statements were confusing because Hishammuddin had said he had discussed the issue with PAS and it had changed its stand before joining the government, whereas Redzuan had said it was still under discussion with the Islamist party.