Israel not an enemy of Pakistan: Netanyahu

Published: January 19, 2018
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. PHOTO: REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed suggestions that his country’s partnership with India is a threat to Pakistan, saying, “We (Israel) are not enemies of Pakistan and Pakistan should not be our enemy either.”

Contrary to some media reports, the Israeli PM in an interview with Times Now categorically stated that Israel is not an enemy of Pakistan.

Netanyahu made the response while responding to a question regarding Pakistan issuing “a very bellicose statement” on the Israeli premier’s visit to India.

 

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To a question on whether Israel would endorse India if it undertakes a ‘surgical strike’ against Pakistan, Netanyahu said, “We have some understanding,” before changing the subject.

Netanyahu also clarified that Israel’s partnership with India is directed to four things and not to some specific country. “Its directed to achieve greater prosperity and greater security for our people, better health, cleaner air, clean water, more productive crops, more milk per cow,” he said.

Throughout, the interview the Israeli PM emphasised that his visit to India had an economic focus rather than a military one. He skirted around a question on whether Israel would support India if it launched an attack on Pakistan.

He also claimed, “Israel is no longer viewed by most Arab countries as an enemy, but as an indispensable ally in their battle against radicalism.”

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No Modi-Abbasi meeting

There are no ‘plans’ for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting at Davos next week, Indian media reported on Thursday.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto will be among the heads of state and government and international organisations, who will attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) opening in Davos on Jan 23.

The government delegation will include Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.

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“As far as I am concerned there are no plans for meeting with the Pakistani prime minister,” External Affairs Economic Relations Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters. Modi would address the opening plenary on January 23.

He was responding to a query on whether Modi would be meeting his Pakistani counterpart as the latter would also be there at WEF on the same day.

When asked whether Modi would be meeting US President Donald Trump, he said the two will not be there on the same day.

This would be Modi’s first Davos visit and also the first by an Indian prime minister since HD Deve Gowda in 1997. Trump would be the first US President to attend since Bill Clinton in 2000.

To a question on whether Modi is sending a message by not meeting Trump at the event, which has the theme of ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’, Gokhale said there were never any plans for the two leaders to meet.

“Besides, this is a multilateral event and the Prime Minister’s central message will be that we are an economy that can be an engine of global growth. We want others to participate in our growth and we also want to participate in others’ growth,” he said.

There were never any plans for the two leaders to meet and therefore whether they are present at the same event and are not meeting is not important, he said, adding, “Our focus has always been in a global economy that is open and inclusive”.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Aslam
    Jan 19, 2018 - 2:37PM

    Pakistan should recognise Israel and it will be a blow to India. There is one thing in common between Pakistan and Israel – both got independence in 1947 as two new states. Recommend

  • Khan
    Jan 19, 2018 - 6:28PM

    No need for Paksitan to make Israel as enemy. Pakistan should recognize them as early as possible.

    It is true they are occupying force but that’s the fact.of today and it can change in future but for the moment, making them inaccessible for Pakistanis is not appropriate.Recommend

  • Jadugar
    Jan 19, 2018 - 8:32PM

    @ Aslam & Khan, Reconizing Israel is giving the Zionist the right to be an Apertheid Nation, perhaps you are not aware of Palestinian suffering under This Man. Recommend

  • Hina Raheem
    Jan 19, 2018 - 9:11PM

    @Khan:
    Ultimately everyone occupies someone else or gets occupied, fact of history. Pakistan should have recognized Israel long ago. Musharraf was on the right track in this regard but that was more of a personal project rather than reflect national consensus. Ironically a number of GCC have more closer dealings, albeit under the table, with Israel than we have yet egg us in our perpetual fanatic pro-Arab trajectory. But what meaningful action have the Arabs ever taken for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue ?Recommend

  • Kamal
    Jan 19, 2018 - 9:43PM

    I fully agree. If Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and many other Muslim states consider Israel neutrally. So should Pakistan. Recommend

  • hasan ali
    Jan 19, 2018 - 10:08PM

    Pakistan should recognize Israel and both should help each other against terrorism.Recommend

  • not in UK
    Jan 19, 2018 - 11:43PM

    @Aslam: “Pakistan should recognise Israel and it will be a blow to India. ”

    Why do you think it would be a blow to India? Is it a blow to India that Pakistan recognizes Afghanistan and Bangladesh?Recommend

  • Sara
    Jan 20, 2018 - 1:14AM

    Saudia Arabia is the biggest trade partner of Israel in the middle east. If the leader of the Muslim Ummah doesn’t have any problems in trading with Israel and making more money, why has Pakistan become an anti-Israel state? We can defend the right of freedom of the Palestenians and also trade with Israel. It’s called diplomacy in the age of globalization. Recommend

  • Humza
    Jan 20, 2018 - 1:15AM

    @Aslam: I agree, Pakistan should have relations with the Israelis the same way many Arabs also have relations with Israel. If Pakistan can have relations with India which is illegally occupying and terrorizing Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir, Pakistan can have relations with Israel despite its occupation of Palestine. If anything, with relations, there can be negotions and dialogue. Pakistan should also show Israeli films the same way it allows Indian films to better understand the views of others.Recommend

  • Raza Akhtar
    Jan 20, 2018 - 1:22AM

    it is a sad day when India has forgotten it’s solidarity with Palestinians. Who are suffering under a colonial regime just like we did Recommend

  • Mm
    Jan 20, 2018 - 5:08AM

    Pakistan backs Arabs because of financial gains , Israel would be recognised when those gains will endRecommend

  • candy
    Jan 20, 2018 - 5:44AM

    Animosity towards Israel is entwined with the myth that Pakistan is leader of the Muslim World – but the Muslim World moved on without Pakistan which pretty much trashes the myth of leadership. Maybe it’s time for Pakistan to move on?Recommend

  • Muzammil
    Jan 20, 2018 - 7:22AM

    They can end the conflict by returning Gaza back to the palestinians. Recommend

  • Freedom
    Jan 20, 2018 - 9:56AM

    I don’t know why Indian Hindus comment on Pakistani newspapers. Don’t they have their own newspapers? Coming to the subject, best thing is to tell Israel that you are neither a friend nor an enemy. Recommend

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