THE INFLUENCE OF THIRD STATES IN SHAPING MALAYSIA-LEBANON RELATIONS UNDER MAHATHIR AND ABDULLAH BADAWI: THE ROLE OF ISRAEL AND SYRIA

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Ilango Karuppannan Shakila Yacob

Abstract

Although it is generally recognised that West Asia is an important focus of Malaysia’s foreign policy, there is a lack of critical scholarship on Malaysia’s relations with the region.   As such Malaysia’s relations with the region are simply assumed to be driven by economic interests and religious affinity.   In reality, Malaysia’s relationship with West Asia is far more complex as would be suggested by her relations with Lebanon. Despite the absence of any material benefit to Malaysia, Lebanon is the second state after Saudi Arabia with whom Malaysia established diplomatic ties in the region in 1963.  Despite Lebanon’s chronic political instability and the ever-present threat of attack by Israel, Malaysia invested heavily in this relationship. This article examines Malaysia’s relationship with Lebanon under the leadership of Mahathir and Abdullah Badawi. Under both leaders, Malaysia committed substantial financial and other resources to support Lebanon. It is argued that this apparent discrepancy between the absence of material benefit for Malaysia and her unilateral support for Lebanon was driven by their perception towards Israel and Syria.

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How to Cite
KARUPPANNAN, Ilango; YACOB, Shakila. THE INFLUENCE OF THIRD STATES IN SHAPING MALAYSIA-LEBANON RELATIONS UNDER MAHATHIR AND ABDULLAH BADAWI: THE ROLE OF ISRAEL AND SYRIA. SARJANA, [S.l.], v. 33, n. 1, p. 22-32, june 2018. ISSN 2289-5434. Available at: <https://ejournal.um.edu.my/index.php/SARJANA/article/view/14586>. Date accessed: 09 dec. 2019.
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