Source Pravda.Ru

Pakistan welcomes Gaza pullout

Pakistan on Friday welcomed Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip, hoping that it would "lead to complete vacation of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, paving the way for the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestine state living in peace side by side with Israel," official said.

Pakistan, which has no diplomatic ties with Israel, has long demanded that the Jewish state end its occupation of Palestinian territory.

In a statement, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Islamabad has "consistently supported all initiatives and developments that can contribute to the just settlement of the long-festering Palestinian problem and durable peace in the Middle East."

Pakistan also urged the international community to continue working for "realization of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people that demand that establishment of their independent state in Palestine with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital," reports the AP.

According to Telegraph, more than 80 percent of Gaza's 8,500 settlers have been evacuated under the "disengagement plan" devised by Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, and officials said the operation could be completed by Tuesday, far ahead of schedule.

Seventeen of 21 Gaza settlements are now clear. The isolated enclave of Netzarim stilled loose as a potential trouble spot, but community leaders said they had agreed to leave on Monday.

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