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Musharraf offers to visit Israel to help resolve W Asia crisis

Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf makes a surprise offer to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an interview with the pan-Arab satellite Television Al-Arabya.

world Updated: Apr 21, 2007 11:02 IST

Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf made a surprise offer to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an interview with the pan-Arab satellite Television Al-Arabya.

Musharraf told the Dubai-based television on Friday that he would be willing to visit the Jewish state in order to help bring peace to the troubled Middle East.

Pakistan - a Muslim country that is a key ally in the US-led war against terrorism - has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel and supports a separate state for Palestinians with Jerusalem as its capital.

In the interview aired late on Friday, Musharraf said he was "enthusiastic" to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and would go to Israel if his offer to be involved in a mediation process was accepted.

Musharraf said he could also start his talks first with the Palestinians, or "maybe in some third country ... Going to Israel is also a possibility."

"It will be an honour, if I can contribute in any way," said Musharraf, although he has so far not been asked to mediate. "If there was a role that I can play, and both sides accept that role, yes, indeed, I would like to play that role."

The Pakistani leader suggested that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be solved unless solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are found first, adding that these solutions would have an impact on the Mideast's stability, and will also bring serenity and stability all over the region and beyond.