Pakistani FM says he met with Livni

Foreign Ministry refuses to comment on Khursid Kasuri's TV interview.

livni upstairs 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livni upstairs 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Foreign Ministry had no response Tuesday to an interview Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri gave to a local Pakistani television station a day earlier, in which he claimed to have met with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. A spokesman for Livni, when asked about the report, said he had "no comment." Kasuri said in his interview with Geo TV that Pakistan had held secret contacts with Israel at various levels in the past. "Some friendly countries were constantly asking us to enter into the Palestinian problem and play a role, but it does not mean that we have recognized Israel," he said. Kasuri said Pakistan neither supports nor recognizes Israel and meetings with some diplomats do not mean dialogue, he added. According to Pakistani media outlets, Kasuri refused to give further details about the meeting. Senior diplomatic officials in Jerusalem, however, doubted the meeting even took place and said there were no "indications pointing to what he described in the interviews. There are no indications that anything like this really took place." According to an official, there are a number of reasons why Kasuri would make this type of claim on Pakistani television that could include wanting to test and gauge the reaction in Pakistan to talk about recognition of Israel, or to send a message to Israel that Pakistan is indeed interested in deepening its secret contacts. Kasuri met in September 2005 in Turkey with then-foreign minister Silvan Shalom, in a meeting that some believed at the time would be a harbinger of the opening of official Israeli-Pakistani ties, something that never materialized.