Ayalon shakes Saudi prince's hand

By BY JPOST.COM STAFF
February 8, 2010 01:41

Deputy foreign minister meets Turki al-Faisal during conference in Munich.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

danny ayalon 190 114. (photo credit: Ariel Jerzolomiski)

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon shook the hand of Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal during a panel of the Munich Security Council on Saturday.

Ayalon was supposed to sit in a panel together with the Saudi prince; the Turkish foreign minister; Hossam Zaki, who is a senior adviser in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, and US independent Sen. Joe Lieberman.

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But al-Faisal asked to split the panel so that Lieberman and Ayalon would be paired with a Russian delegate and he would sit with the Turkish and Egyptian representatives.

At the event, Ayalon deplored the fact that some countries asked not to sit next to Israel’s representative, saying that it showed a gap existed between words and deeds in the Middle East.

The Saudi envoy then said he had no problem sitting on a panel with an Israeli representative. Ayalon, who was on the stage, said that he would be happy to shake the prince’s hand, and that if the Saudi prince wished to remain seated Ayalon would come to him.

The Saudi then rose from his seat and the two shook hands.

Ayalon said during his speech at the panel that peace was important for Israel, “not just strategically, but as a moral obligation, since it will affect us as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Ayalon added that Israel’s willingness for peace should be judged by its actions.

“Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan and did what was asked of it in negotiations with the Palestinians,” he said.


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