Pakistan’s decision on whether or not to recognize Israel will hinge on its national interests and the interests of Palestinians, stated Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani. Addressing the recent claims by the Israeli Foreign Minister, he clarified that he did not meet with his Israeli counterpart during the UN General Assembly session in New York. Jilani’s comments responded to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen’s assertion that multiple Muslim nations would forge peace with Israel, contingent upon a Saudi Arabia-Israel agreement.
The Potential Saudi-Israel Peace Deal
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s United Nations speech, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen mentioned that a peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel could pave the way for up to seven more Muslim countries to establish peaceful relations with Israel. Cohen alluded to these nations being in Africa and Asia but abstained from providing specifics.
US President Biden has been advocating for this deal, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman confirmed was under discussion. However, its realization is contingent upon recognizing Palestinian rights. Observers opine that such a deal might pressure other countries, like Pakistan, to reconsider their policies towards Israel.
Pakistan’s past engagements hint at its reluctance to form ties without resolving the Palestinian issue. Recognizing Israel without addressing the Palestinian conflict might adversely impact Pakistan’s stance on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. However, changing geopolitical realities might influence future policies. Despite speculations on the Israel-Saudi Arabia relationship, Pakistan’s current position is expected to remain unchanged in the foreseeable future.