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December 20, 2023

Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia Issued a Joint Statement for Gaza Ceasefire at APEC

December 20, 2023

The leaders of Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia jointly called for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a ceasefire in the Gaza strip during the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The call for a ceasefire emerged as part of the 2023 APEC Golden Gate Declaration. Notably, the leaders issued a statement regarding the aggression in Ukraine in APEC Leaders’ Golden Gate Declaration. Therefore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei insisted that if the geopolitical issue was to be included, it should encompass both Ukraine and the Gaza crises.

Brunei Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir highlighted that several APEC member economies, including Chile, shared similar views on the Gaza issue, emphasizing its impact on the global economic climate. Zambry acknowledged that while there was general agreement on the need for a ceasefire, differences arose concerning the inclusion of a geopolitical statement.

As a compromise, the United States agreed to remove the geopolitical element from both the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the Ministerial Meeting statements. Instead, the geopolitical issue would be presented in the Chair's Statement only. In parallel, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia issued a joint statement at APEC 2023, calling for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, Multi-National Companies perceived to be supporters of the Israel government have become targets for boycotts by consumers. However, there is not as strong a sentiment or movement evident in Brunei Darussalam thus far.

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