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(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 with the Saudi prince, the Turkish foreign minister, senior Egyptian Foreign Ministry adviser Hossam Zaki, US independent senator Joe Lieberman and Ayalon.
But al-Faisal asked to split the panel so that Lieberman and Ayalon would be paired with a Russian delegate and that 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 in 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
according to its actions. “Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt
and Jordan and did what was asked of it in negotiations with the
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