Israeli President Shimon Peres sent a letter to Pervez Musharraf Monday congratulating him on his yet unofficial reelection as president of Pakistan, although the Jewish state has no formal relations with the populous Muslim state.
"Although we do not have formal relations, I would like to convey my best wishes on your election as president of Pakistan for a second term," Peres wrote in a surprising gesture.
"You have shown responsibility and strength in preventing the spread of violence and terrorism on many occasions and I carry in my heart your support for peace in the Middle East which I heard directly from you," the letter said, with no mention of when exactly the two men had spoken.
Peres' spokeswoman, Ayelet Frisch, said the President thought it would be appropriate to send the letter to Musharraf and described the two men as good friends, adding believe me, (the president) knows what he is doing.
Musharraf has previously made contact with Israeli leaders when he and the now coma-stricken former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon shook hands on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in September 2005.
Two weeks earlier, the foreign ministers from the two countries had met in the first such high-level encounter which aimed to help normalize relations.
Musharraf, a key ally of Washington in the "war on terror", won another five-year term in a vote on Saturday but he must wait at least nine days for the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of the election before the result is declared official.
Peres brands Iran 'centre of global terror'
Peres spoke out about another Muslim state on Monday and launched a blistering attack on arch-foe Iran, calling it "the centre of global terror".
"The leading government nurturing terror and financing it with money and weapons is Iran, with (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad at its head," Peres told the opening of parliament's winter session.
"If Iran attains nuclear weapons, they are likely to reach terrorists, because Iran is also the centre of global terror. The world will then become chaos," Peres said.
Although Israel is widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, it fears Iran is using its nuclear programme to build an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies.
The Jewish state considers the Islamic republic its top enemy following the controversy of Ahmadinejad alleged calls to wipe Israel off the map and his questioning of the Holocaust.