'Kashmir Solution Under Simla Accord'
7 September 2005
Islamabad: Welcoming the Indo-Pak peace process, Israel has said that it favoured resolution of Kashmir and other contentious issues between the two countries under the 1972 Simla accord, reports PTI. 'Israel has supported the Simla agreement between Pakistan and India since 1972 and the resolution of all issues between them by peaceful means,' Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who recently met his Pakistani counterpart Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri in the first-ever public contact between the two countries, told local daily The Post in an interview. He was replying to a question on Tel Aviv's stand on UN resolutions on Kashmir. 'We welcome the rapprochement between Pakistan and India over the past several years and hope that they will reach an agreement in the near future,' Shalom said. About his Sept 1 meeting with Kasuri in Istanbul, the Israeli Minister said they discussed many issues, including some confidence building measures to be taken by the two countries in the run-up to the establishment of diplomatic relations. 'I discussed many issues in my meeting with Kasuri, among them were steps that our respective countries can take to lead to a wider dialogue. Our meeting was very constructive and he left me with a positive impression. I hope that our meeting last week in Istanbul was the first of many and will one day lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations,' he said. Shalom said Israel regarded Pakistan as 'a very important country. It is the second largest country in the Muslim world. I hope that in the near future relations between Pakistan and Israel will grow.'