Palestinian minister: Meeting with Shalom was blown out of proportions

Palestinian Authority Minister of Economy Basem Khoury said Wednesday that his meeting with Minister Silvan Shalom had no political implications and did not signal any change in the PA's policy. Khoury also blamed the Israeli media for "blowing the story out of proportion," adding that the meeting had been arranged several months ago. He said that talks with Shalom were restricted to issues related to day-to-day life in the PA territories. "This was not a political meeting," he explained. "We didn't discuss any political issue." Khoury said that he could not understand why some in the Israeli media were describing the meeting as if it were a breakthrough in relations between the PA and Israel. He said that the PA's declared policy of refusing to resume the peace talks unless Israel froze all settlement construction and accepted the two-state solution was still effective.