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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
AP

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.

First Published: Apr 21, 2007 08:24 IST