PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia's foreign minister says the government will not budge over a ban on Israeli athletes in a para swimming competition and has decided that the country will not host any events in the future involving Israel.
Malaysia, a strong supporter of the Palestinian plight, is among the predominantly Muslim countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The government has said Israeli swimmers cannot join the competition in July that serves as a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Wednesday that the Cabinet affirmed last week that no Israeli delegates can enter Malaysia for sporting or other events. He said the Cabinet has also decided not to host any more events involving Israel "to reflect the government's firm stance over the Israeli issue."