Pakistan & Israel Hold Historic Talks
The foreign ministers of Pakistan and Israel have for the first time held publicly acknowledged talks.
After the talks Pakistan’s foreign minister said that his country had decided to “engage” with Israel after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.
Israel’s foreign minister described the talks, held in the Turkish city of Istanbul, as a “historic meeting”.
“We see this development as the beginning of the process of [ending] Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” he said.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told Israel Radio: “We are talking about a tremendous significance, not just in regards to our relations with Pakistan, but the entire Muslim world.”
Mr Shalom told reporters that he hoped the talks would lead to “a full diplomatic relationship with Pakistan as we would like it with all Muslim and Arab countries.”
Before the meeting Pakistan’s President Musharraf spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. Both supported the move to hold talks, Pakistan says.