January 07, 2020

Mahathir Likens U.S. Killing of Iran General to Khashoggi Murder
(Bloomberg) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has drawn parallels between the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident and columnist Jamal Khashoggi.Both killings took place “across boundaries,” were in breach of laws and constituted immoral acts, Mahathir told a press conference in the administrative capital of Putrajaya Tuesday. “We are no longer safe now,” he said. “If anybody insults or says something that somebody doesn’t like it’s alright for that person from another country to send a drone and perhaps have a shot at me.”Mahathir warned that the U.S. strike outside Baghdad’s airport could lead to escalating terrorism. Still, he stopped short of calling on Muslim nations to unite over the killing.“We find that such action can be taken by this very powerful gentleman against the laws of this country, against the laws of the world,” Mahathir said. “And at this moment we can do nothing about it.”Malaysia’s ministry of foreign affairs released a statement Tuesday saying it was “monitoring with deep concern the current volatile situation in the Gulf region.” It urged citizens to defer all non-essential travel to the area.Soleimani died along with a local Iraqi militia leader in Friday’s drone strike, which followed attacks on a U.S. military base in Iraq and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by forces the U.S. says were directed by Iran.Khashoggi was murdered at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. A report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard found Saudi agents were recorded discussing how to dismember Khashoggi’s body several minutes before he entered the consulate.(Updates with statement from ministry in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at ashukry2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at yho35@bloomberg.net, Ruth PollardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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