The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has made surprise signals of openness towards Israel.
According to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale Hamid Karzai expressed his willingness to recognise Israel at the end of a news conference following the parliamentary and provincial elections.
"Other Muslim states have relations with Israel," the Afghan president said. "We are open to contact and we appreciate the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip: as soon as the Palestinian State is recognised, we will have no problem in resuming relations with Israel."
Pakistan has already responded to the Gaza pullout by signalling a move towards normalising relations with Israel, which it does not currently recognise.
Last week Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon met and exchanged pleasantries in New York at the UN summit, the AKI reports.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea