Pak, Afghan biggest threat for Israel — Lieberman

April 23, 2009 11:12 am 

By Harinder Mishra

JERUSALEM, April 22 — In a major shift in threat perception for the Jewish state, Pakistan and Afghanistan have now been identified as the biggest threat for Israel with the much publicized danger emanating from Iran's nuclear programme pushed to the second rank.

Israel's hardliner Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in his first interview to a Russian daily after taking charge, has said that since he began warning against the nuclear threat from Iran, nuclear threats have become more prevalent.

However, he said that a more urgent problem has developed in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Pakistan is nuclear and unstable, and Afghanistan is faced with a potential Taliban takeover, and the combination form a contiguous area of radicalism ruled in the spirit of Bin Laden," Lieberman told Russian daily 'Moskovskiy Komosolets'.

"I do not think that this makes anyone in China, Russia or the US happy… These countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) are a threat not only to Israel, but to the global order as a whole," he said.

"Iran is not Israel's biggest strategic threat, rather Afghanistan and Pakistan are," he emphasized.

The strategic threat coming from Iraq was ranked as the third most important issue of concern for the Jewish state by the Israeli foreign minister. (PNA/PTI)

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