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IPC upset with Malaysia's ban on Israeli swimmers

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

The International Committee expressed disappointment Saturday after said it would not allow Israeli swimmers to attend a competition in the country that will serve as a qualifying event for the 2020 Paralympics.

is one of a number of Muslim-majority countries that has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, with entry to the country on an Israeli passport prohibited.

The city of in the eastern Sarawak state will host hundreds of swimmers from 70 countries from July 29th to August 4th.

But on Thursday, said would deny visas to Israeli para swimmers seeking to attend the meet.

"We maintain our stand on the prohibition. If they do come, it is a violation," he was quoted as saying by the official agency.

"If they (the International Committee) want to withdraw Malaysia's right to host the championship, they can do so."

The IPC said in a statement that it was "disappointed" with Mahathir's comments, although it would aim to "find a solution" to the issue.

Many in support the Palestinian cause, with thousands taking to the streets to protest in December 2017 when US recognised as the Jewish state's capital.

In 1997, the Israeli cricket team was allowed to play in the 22-nation International Cricket Council Trophy tournament in despite violent street protests.

It was the first official visit by an Israeli delegation to Malaysia.

Malaysia has long supported a two-state solution in the Palestine-conflict.

The status of Jerusalem, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths, is one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between and Palestinians who want East recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 18:10 IST