Sanctioned Muslim nations weigh trading with gold to bypass restrictions
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Sanctioned Muslim nations weigh trading with gold to bypass restrictions

Malaysian leader’s proposal at Islamic nations’ summit receives warm reception from Iran, Turkey and Qatar, who are currently facing a host of economic embargoes

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan center left, walks with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, centre right, following their meeting at the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 19, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan center left, walks with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, centre right, following their meeting at the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 19, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Malaysia are weighing trading among themselves in gold and other currencies in an effort to combat current and future sanctions imposed against them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday.

“I have suggested that we re-visit the idea of trading using the gold dinar and barter trade among us,” the Reuters news agency quoted Mohamad as saying at the conclusion of a summit in Malaysia for Islamic states. “We are seriously looking into this and we hope that we will be able to find a mechanism to put it into effect.”

Two years ago, Saudi Arabia the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar over allegations it was financing terrorism. Iran has been forced to deal with similar isolation due to crippling sanctions reimposed by the US in 2018.

“With the world witnessing nations making unilateral decisions to impose such punitive measures, Malaysia and other nations must always bear in mind that it can be imposed on any of us,” the Malaysian leader said, lauding Tehran and Doha for weathering the sanctions imposed against them.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivers a speech at the Kuala Lumpur Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

According to the Reuters report, the countries at the summit agreed to further develop business ties among themselves while also trading in alternative currencies.

Despite the reported agreement, no joint statement was issued by the countries as the summit reached a conclusion. Participants had gathered to discuss “major issues affecting Muslims,” including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as Kashmir, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and the plight of Uighur Muslims who are being placed in concentration camps in China’s Xinjiang region.

Apparently referencing the situation in Xinjiang, Mohamad said that Muslims were being forced to undergo assimilation.

“We support integration but assimilation to the extent of shedding our religion is unacceptable,” he said.

However, he avoided criticizing the Chinese government directly over the issue. “We have to hear the state, we have to hear the people who complain, then only [will it] be fair.”

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