JERUSALEM: Pakistan is interested in advancing its ties with Israel if there is an improvement in the political situation in the region, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.
Qureshi's remarks assume significance as Pakistan does not recognise Israel and the two nations have no diplomatic ties.
"Pakistan is interested in advancing its relations with Israel, but this is a question of the political situation in the region," Qureshi told Ma'ariv, an Israeli news portal, on the sidelines of recently concluded Munich Security Conference.
"Progress in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be very helpful," he said adding, "if the American plan succeeds in doing so, it will be good.
We wish all the best for Israel.
We have many friends in the region and we would like you to join them," the Pakistani minister was quoted as saying.
Pakistan and Israel have also in the past tried to engage each other with their foreign ministers meeting on September 1, 2005 in Istanbul in a much publicised coming together.
This meeting was followed by a handshake between Pakistan's then President Pervez Musharraf and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon just a few weeks later on the sidelines of a UN summit.
Several Islamic countries with no diplomatic relations with Israel have been increasingly coming close to it with the common threat of Iran bringing them together.