Malaysia’s foreign minister has dismissed claims that the predominantly-Muslim country is establishing ties with Israel after an Israeli delegation participated in a UN conference in Kuala Lampur last week.

Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman Photo credit: Flickr

A week after an Israeli delegation participated in a UN conference in Malaysia, its foreign minister said on Thursday that the predominantly-Muslim country had been forced to allow the Israeli visitors to enter, adding that it does not indicate closer ties between the countries or any change in Malaysia’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Israeli delegation was led by David Roet, Israel’s former UN Ambassador. Roet tweeted pictures of himself in various locations around Malaysia, adding, “I have great hopes for good relations between our two countries in the future.”

Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel and has refused to let Israelis enter its territory in the past. In December, thousands of its citizens took to the streets to protest US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pro-Palestinian sources in Malaysia, including members of the opposition, voiced harsh criticism over the decision to allow the Israeli delegation into the country, with some accusing the government of secretly trying to establish ties with Israel.