- Ofir Akunis says Israel trying to get recognition before end of Donald Trump’s tenure
- Minister says two countries were in talks with the Jewish state
- Rules out Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
TEL AVIV: An Israeli minister has shared that a fifth Muslim country may recognise Israel but dismissed the reports that Pakistan may be the one.
Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis, while speaking to an Israeli TV channel, shared that Israel was working towards formalising its ties with a fifth Muslim country after the recent flurry of recognitions.
The minister said Tel Aviv is trying to get the recognition before the end of US President Donald Trump’s tenure.
"There will be an American announcement about another country that is going public with the normalisation of relations with Israel and, in essence, with the infrastructure for an accord — a peace accord," Akunis told Ynet TV, which was quoted by Israeli publication Haaretz.
The Israeli minister did not mention the name of the country but said that two countries were in contention, saying one was in the Gulf. However, he clarified that Saudi Arabia was not in conisderation.
Akunis said the other country was in the east and it is a "Muslim country that is not small", but quickly said that it is not Pakistan.
Pakistan rejects 'baseless speculation' over recognising Israel
Pakistan has multiple times dismissed reports claiming that it would recognise Israel after multiple Middle East states signed agreements with Tel Aviv.
Recently Prime Minister Imran Khan also dismissed a report claiming that a Pakistani representative visited Israel. The premier had commented why would any of the ministers visit the country when Islamabad does not recognise it.
Last month, the Foreign Office also rubbished rumours that it was considering to normalise ties with Israel, referring to them as "baseless speculation".
"Responding to media queries, the Spokesperson categorically rejected baseless speculation regarding possibility of recognition of the State of Israel by Pakistan," read a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.