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November 25, 2020

Pakistan’s ties with Israel: Saudi ambassador brushes aside speculations

National

November 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Ambassador for Pakistan Admiral Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki has brushed aside the impression of any Saudi interest in speculations of Pakistan’s ties with Israel.

“Saudi Arabia doesn’t enjoy any diplomatic link with Israel and is having no relations with it. One shouldn’t speculate about any Saudi role for its relations with any other country,” said the Saudi ambassador in a brief chat with The News on Tuesday. The Saudi envoy, who has played a significant role in solidifying Saudi Arabia’s relations with Pakistan in various spheres, said the Saudi Kingdom is more interested in the wellbeing of Pakistan so that it could overcome its problems in different fields.

Admiral Nawaf Al-Malki referred to the statement made by his Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan a day earlier, who had denied reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined talks in NEOM with Mike Pompeo on Sunday.

A foreign wire service reported about a visit of the Israeli prime minister to the crown prince that generated speculation about the possibility of Israel’s recognition by Pakistan. Earlier in the day, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry rejected baseless speculations regarding possibility of recognition of the state of Israel by Pakistan. He underlined that the prime minister’s statements in this context have been clear. The prime minister has made it clear that until a just settlement of the Palestine issue, satisfactory to the Palestinian people, is found, Pakistan cannot recognize Israel. Pakistan steadfastly supports Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination. For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state.

An Israeli newspaper reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia had impressed Pakistan to give recognition to the state of Israel that Pakistan has now denied emphatically. Interestingly, Pakistan had developed a soft approach towards Israel in the past when General Pervez Musharraf was ruling the country. His Foreign Minister Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri had a meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Istanbul. The meeting was facilitated by Turkey.