FO rejects reports about US pressure to recognise Israel as 'fabrication'

Updated 17 Nov 2020

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The Foreign Office has rejected reports quoting Prime Minister Imran Khan as saying the country was facing pressure from the United States to recognise Israel. — File
The Foreign Office has rejected reports quoting Prime Minister Imran Khan as saying the country was facing pressure from the United States to recognise Israel. — File

The Foreign Office (FO) has rejected as "fabrication" reports quoting Prime Minister Imran Khan as saying Pakistan was facing pressure from the United States to recognise Israel in the wake of peace deals between several Arab states and Tel Aviv.

"The prime minister had clearly articulated Pakistan’s position that unless a just settlement of the Palestine issue — satisfactory to the Palestinian people — was found, Pakistan could not recognise Israel," FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said in a statement on Tuesday.

A day earlier, a report published by the Middle East Eye quoted the premier as saying that pressure to recognise Israel was “extraordinary during the Trump stint”.

"The prime minister had stressed that Pakistan’s policy in this regard was rooted in Quaid-i-Azam’s vision," the FO spokesman said in his statement today.

"The prime minister's remarks are an unequivocal reaffirmation of Pakistan’s position on the subject, leaving no room for baseless speculation.

"For a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, Pakistan will continue to support a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions as well as international law, with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of Palestine," the spokesman said.

Earlier this year, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan normalised relations with Israel, while reports in the media stated that the Trump administration was goading Saudi Arabia to do the same. Riyadh has so far not followed in the footsteps of its Gulf and Arab allies.

No recognition of Israel unless Palestine freed: Imran

In a television interview in August, the premier had categorically said that Pakistan could not recognise Israel as a state unless it gave freedom to Palestine.

"Quaid-i-Azam had said in 1948 that Pakistan could not recognise Israel unless it gave freedom to Palestinians.

“If we recognise Israel and ignore tyranny faced by the Palestinians, we will have to give up (the cause of) Kashmir as well, and this we cannot do," he had said in a two-hour late-night interview with Dunya TV.