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Israel, Pakistan hold first talks

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Pervez Musharraf is a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism.

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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- In a sign of warming relations between Israel and Pakistan, the countries' foreign ministers met in Istanbul on Thursday, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official told CNN.

The talks between Israeli Foreign Minster Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counterpart Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri were the first-ever high-level diplomatic meetings involving the two nations and follow Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf publicly praised Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after Sharon's announcement of plans for disengagement from the Palestinian territories.

There are no formal diplomatic relations between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Israel has long had close relations with meeting-host Turkey, a Muslim country with a secular government.

Turkey also has diplomatic ties with Pakistan.

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