Pakistan’s decision to recognise Israel will be determined by its national interests and those of Palestinians, according to Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, who also said he didn’t meet his Israeli counterpart on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York. Jilani was responding to claims by the Israeli Foreign Minister that 6 or 7 Muslim countries would make peace with the Jewish State if Saudi Arabia-Israel deal goes through. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Israel’s KAN News on Friday that up to seven more Muslim countries could make peace with Israel if the Jewish State signs a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia. Speaking to the outlet immediately following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, in which he touted a “new Middle East” where Israel and Saudi Arabia enjoyed diplomatic ties, Cohen said that “peace with Saudi Arabia means peace with the greater Muslim world.” Cohen said the countries are in Africa and Asia but declined to name them. He later said that only some had been directly in touch with him. Jilani, however, said he didn’t meet his Israeli counterpart. US President Biden has been pushing for landmark deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman told Fox News recently that his country was in talks with Israel, dismissing reports that process was suspended. The de facto ruler said they were inching closer to a deal with every passing day. However, the future king of Saudi Arabia made it clear that the deal hinges on Palestinian rights being acknowledged. The deal, if goes through, will be a huge victory for Israel and President Biden, who wants to use the landmark development in the next year’s election. Observers believe that any deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, who for decades had champion the Palestinian cause, would put pressure on other countries including Pakistan to bring a shift in its policy. Islamabad has in the past resisted pressure though in 2005 Pakistan and Israeli foreign ministers held a landmark meeting in Turkey. But the process couldn’t move forward as there has always been strong opposition to establishing diplomatic ties with Israel without resolution of Palestinian issue. There have been concerns in Pakistan that recognising the Israeli state without permanent solution to Palestinian conflict would only undermine the country’s case on the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir. However, there are people who feel Pakistan may adjust to the new realities and form its policy accordingly on Israel. Nevertheless, despite reports of a possible rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is highly unlikely to change its stance in the near future.