ISLAMABAD, Sept 3: Foreign Office on Saturday clarified that no meeting had been scheduled between President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during the coming session of Untied Nations being held in New York this month.
Commenting on news about a meeting between President Musharraf and Premier Sharon, Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Naeem Khan said there was no such meeting in the schedule of the president during his visit to New York.
The spokesman said President Musharraf would address American Jewish Congress in New York during this visit, which was a part of Pakistan’s efforts to promote interfaith harmony.
The spokesman said Pakistan would send a diplomatic delegation to Palestine to visit Gaza and other areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
Reiterating Pakistan’s principled stand on the recognition of Israel, the spokesman said there was absolutely no decision to recognise Israel or start trade with it after the meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Israel.
The meting, he added, was aimed only at promoting the cause of Palestine and playing an active role in resolving the issue.
Meanwhile, in an interview to BBC Radio, Foreign Office Spokesman Naeem Khan said that Pakistan’s engagement with Israel is aimed at promoting the Palestinian cause.
He said when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Pakistan in May, he held detailed discussions with President Musharraf in this regard.
The Palestinian president was of the opinion that Pakistan, being an important Muslim country, should play a role in moving the Middle East peace process forward, he said.
When asked whether Pakistan consulted the Palestinian Authority before the meeting of Foreign Minister Kasuri with his Israeli counterpart, the spokesman said: “President Musharraf talked to Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah who termed the decision a positive step and welcomed it. —-APP