Skip to comments.Handshake not acquiescence to Israeli stance: Prince Turki--handshake settles seating spat
Posted on 02/08/2010 5:03:57 AM PST by SJackson
Handshake not acquiescence to Israeli stance: Prince Turki
Arab News - 08 February, 2010
Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the United States and the UK, who shook hands on Saturday with Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, called on Israel to withdraw from all occupied Arab territories and to work in conjugation to restore peace and security in the Middle East.
Prince Turki was quoted by Agence France Presse as saying on Sunday that his handshake at an international security conference in Munich should not be seen as acquiescence to Israel's stance on Palestinian autonomy.
"My strong objections and condemnations of Tel Aviv's policies and actions against the Palestinians remain unchanged," he said.
The prince underscored the Kingdom's stance that it would recognize Israel as an equal partner in the region and work to normalize relations only if it withdraws to pre-1967 borders and comes forward for peace negotiations.
The handshake between Prince Turki and Ayalon during a panel discussion at a Munich security conference settled a public diplomatic spat about seating arrangements. The conference took place over the weekend in the German city.
On Saturday, a panel convened on the topic of the Middle East peace process, was to include Prince Turki and Ayalon, as well as the Turkish foreign minister, US Sen. Joe Lieberman and senior Egyptian and Russian officials. But the panel was split into two, according to reports, and in the subsequent question-and-answer session, Prince Turki stood up in the audience and said that it was not he who had objected to sitting with Ayalon, but rather it was probably done due to Ayalon's "boorish behavior" with Turkey's envoy to Israel recently. The prince was referring to a public dressing down Ayalon gave to Turkish Ambassador Oguz Celikkol recently.
The Israeli deputy minister later conceded that his behavior toward the envoy had been inappropriate for which an apology was offered.
After that, the Israeli politician got off the stage, came down to the prince in the course of the panel discussions and shook hands.
"This event should not be taken out of context or misunderstood," said Prince Turki, who said the gesture is a recognition of public etiquette and manners.
"It is clear that Israel's Arab neighbors want peace, but they cannot be expected to tolerate what amounts to theft committed on Arab lands," the prince said after being questioned about the handshake.
SOURCE:JORDAN TIMES 7 Feb.'10:"Israeli, Saudi handshake settles seating spat", Reuters
SUBJECT: Israel/Saudi handshake at international security conference
FULL TEXT:;MUNICH (Reuters) - A handshake between an Israeli politician and a Saudi prince settled an unusual public diplomatic spat on Saturday(6 Feb) about the seating arrangements at an international security conference.
To applause from the audience at the Munich Security Conference, a global gathering of defence, security and diplomatic chiefs, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki Al Faisal smiled and shook hands in a display of diplomatic good manners. "There is a chance," Ayalon said, apparently referring to prospects for a more peaceful region. "I am very glad". Ayalon had accused Turki, a former Saudi intelligence chief and envoy to Washington and London, of orchestrating a decision to keep him off a panel involving other regional powers meant to discuss the security of the Middle East. The panel had been due to feature speakers from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Russia and the United States.
In the event, it was split into two sessions, the first featuring Turki, Egyptian diplomat Hossam Zaki and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and a second with Ayalon, Russian academic Igor Yurgens and US Senator Joseph Lieberman.
Ayalon began his talk saying it appeared "a representative of a country with a lot of oil" had pressed the organisers to separate the panel because he "did not want to sit with us". This showed a lack of mutual respect and tolerance, a failing at the heart of the region's problems, he said.
In the subsequent question and answer session, Turki stood up in the audience and said it was not he who had objected and the splitting of the panel was probably due to Ayalon's "boorish behaviour" with Turkey's envoy to Israel.
This was a reference to a public dressing down Ayalon gave Ambassador Oguz Celikkol in January. Ayalon later conceded his behaviour towards the envoy had been inappropriate. Israel has apologised for the incident.
Ayalon responded to Turki saying Turki had called into question his integrity. He added: "If indeed it was not him who objected to my being here with him, I would welcome him to shake my outstetched hand." Turki approached the podium, Ayalon descended from it and the men grasped hands.
Davutoglu could not immediately be reached for comment. Turkey, as a Muslim country, is an important ally of Israel and in the past has helped forge contacts between Israel and the Arab world. But relations have deteriorated following criticism by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip last year.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
And nobody bowed. And everyone came in the front door.
Such a shame that they attacked Israel and got their asses kicked then.
After the last elections in Israel, I read a Lefty Israeli journalist opining on a seemingly paradoxical fact (not really, but it is for many doctrinal western liberals) that Israel’s Arab opponents will have less problems dealing with hawk Avigdor Lieberman as a Foreign minister than they had with mushy Livni. And not just because she is a woman, but because Lieberman is much more predictable: he negotiates from the position of strength and self respect - something that Arabs can relate to much better. I am paraphrasing here, but this observation was coming from a lefty - which caught my attention.
While insisting on dogma of multiculturalism, the Western Left, nevertheless, is not paying attention to the fact that strength is more respected in the Middle East than magnanimity, which is more often than not interpreted as weakness.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the United States
Thats the muzzie bastard who’s turban deep in all the known terrorist groups in the world.
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