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Home > News > PTI

Pakistan, Israel have 10 years old ties

September 06, 2005 17:38 IST

Admitting that Pakistan had been engaged secretly with Israel for over ten years, Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri has dismissed reports that the recent meeting between the two nations was forged under outside pressure.

"The handshake with Israel, which Pakistan believes will enhance its role for the cause of Palestine, has been made in self interest and no pressure from outside whatsoever was at work," Kasuri told reporters at the foreign office in Islamabad on Monday evening.

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"Pakistan and Israel have been engaged in secret contacts with each other for more than 10 years," said Kasuri, who met Israeli foreign minister publicly for the first time in Turkey last week.

Kasuri, at a reception hosted by him in honour of foreign envoys posted in Islamabad, said that no meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and Ariel Sharon has been scheduled as yet, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this September.

Under attack by Islamic hardliners for holding talks with Israel, Pakistan stated on Monday that the engagement was necessary to get involved in the Middle East peace process and help the Palestinians.

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