WASHINGTON – Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad left a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon outraged on Tuesday following a dispute about terminology to be used in the meeting summary.
A press conference scheduled to take place in New York after the meeting, which was held as part of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meetings, was subsequently canceled.
The dispute followed Ayalon's demand that the meeting summary refer to the notion of "two states for two peoples," rather than just "two states."
"I wanted that at the very least it will note two states for two peoples. I demanded to know what they meant. One Palestinian state and one bi-national state, or another Palestinian state?," the deputy minister told Ynet. "I made it clear that we were out of the picture if the summary didn’t say two states for two peoples."
In the meeting, Ayalon said that Israel will continue to support the Palestinian economy, even without its consent, but noted that Israel's security needs must also be taken into consideration.
Fayyad asked to further ease Palestinian movement in the West Bank, to which Ayalon replied: "We shall not gamble away Israel's security and future. Everything depends on the security situation and am agreed-upon political solution."
The deputy foreign minister also demanded guarantees that donation money will not be used for incitement or a boycott of Israeli products.
The meeting's summary was written by the Norwegian representative whose country heads the AHLC.
Both US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell and Quartet envoy Tony Blair participated in the earlier part of the meeting. Blair supported the Israeli stance. Representing the Palestinian side were Fayyad and Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Israel's chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho is also currently in New York and is holding meetings with Erekat.