Pakistan rejects Israel's new annex plan
Pakistan on Thursday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement that he will immediately annex a part occupied West Bank if re-elected next week.
"We reject any such move, which would be illegal and a dangerous escalation," Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said during a weekly briefing in capital Islamabad.
"While reaffirming our solidarity with the Palestinians, Pakistan reiterates its support for a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital," he added.
Faisal also stated that Islamabad categorically rejected reports claiming that it was going to recognize Israel in reaction to a "mild" response from some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia on India's revoking of longstanding special rights of disputed Jammu and Kashmir region last month.
"Our policy of non-recognition of Israel remains unchanged," said Faisal.
Last week, Pakistan Army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor had also rejected the "rumors" that Pakistan was getting ready to recognize Israel terming it the "fifth generation propaganda war" against Pakistan and the army.
The foreign ministry spokesman also dismissed reports suggesting that the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arabia Emirates (UAE) during their recent visit told Islamabad not to portray Kashmir as a "Muslim Ummah issue".
He insisted that both foreign ministers "expressed solidarity with Pakistan and support for the Kashmir cause".
Pakistan is one of many Muslim countries, which does not recognize Israel. Its green passport is valid for travel to all the countries except for Israel, under the country's law.
Also, Islamabad had openly opposed the United States' move to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel dubbing it as a clear violation of international laws.
U.S. President Donald Trump had recognized in December 2017 Jerusalem as capital of Israel -- a move that sparked wide international condemnation, including from the UN.
Afghanistan peace process
Responding to a series of questions about suspension of peace talks between the U.S and the Afghan Taliban, Faisal expressed hope that stalled talks would be resumed soon.
"We are hopeful that the peace talks between the United Stated and Afghan Taliban will be resumed at the earliest," he said.
Reiterating his country's stance that the only solution to the Afghan conflict lies in a politically negotiated settlement, he said "Pakistan wants all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from violence".
Last December, Islamabad brokered direct talks between the U.S. and the Taliban aimed at ending America's longest war through a political settlement.
The two sides, according to U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, had almost reached an agreement when Trump cancelled his scheduled secret meetings with the Afghan Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David following last week's brazen attack in Kabul killing 14 people, including a U.S. soldier.