Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani has said that Pakistani officials have not met Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in recent times. Pakistan will decide on establishing relations with Israel keeping in mind its national interests and those of the Palestinian people, Geo News quoted Jilani as saying.
His response came a day after the Israeli minister claimed to have met several officials from Muslim nations with which Israel does not share formal ties. Cohen had said that he expected six or seven Islamic nations to sign a normalisation agreement with Israel once Saudi Arabia joins the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in the Abraham Accords.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 22 told the United Nations that Israel is on the “cusp” of normalising relations with Saudi Arabia and that Palestinians should not get to “veto” the move.
Addressing the General Assembly in New York, Netanyahu said agreements in 2020 to establish formal ties with three other Arab states had already “heralded the dawn of a new age of peace.”
“But I believe that we are at the cusp of an even more dramatic breakthrough – an historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The last reported meeting between the high-ranking officials of Pakistan and Israel was on February 9, 2005, when former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri met the then-Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom in Turkey.
However, no such meetings at the level of foreign ministers or at any other level appeared in the media in the succeeding years.
In another instance, Jilani met the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation OIC, Hissein Brahim Taha on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The two discussed issues facing the Muslim world, especially the desecration of the Holy Quran and Islamophobia, vowing to work together to protect the interests of Muslims.