Musharraf Meeting Shows Signs Of Hope

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is in New York this week for The United Nations World Summit, and stopped off for a much anticipated visit with the American Jewish Congress Saturday night.
The Pakistan Daily Times reports,

The president told the event that followed an elaborate banquet, “Israel rightly desires security. This will remain incomplete until the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state is assured. Israel must come to terms with geopolitical realities and allow justice to prevail for the Palestinians.”
Musharraf said he saw hope in the Israeli decision to pull out of Gaza.
[…] Middle East peace would revive the historic ties between Islam and Judaism, he said. The gathering rose to applaud him when he said, “What better signal for peace could there be than the opening of embassies in Israel by Islamic countries like Pakistan?”
[…] Musharraf said Pakistan has “no direct conflict or dispute with Israel … But our people have a deep sense of sympathy for the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations for statehood.
As the peace process progresses towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, we will take further steps towards normalisation and cooperation, looking to full diplomatic relations.”
He pleaded for interfaith harmony, citing various similarities between Jews and Muslims, which outnumbered the few divergences in their faith and culture.
According to the Quran, he said, Jews, Christians and Muslims are all people of the Book, belonging to the same spiritual tradition.
He called the last six decades in Muslim-Jewish relations an “aberration”.

To read AJCongress Chairman Jack Rosen’s remarks introducing Musharraf, click here. More from JTA here.
In related news, Bahrain is repealing its economic boycott of Israel.

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