Shlomo Shamir
September 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Norway's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday accused Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon of “distorting the facts” in regards to his Tuesday meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in New York.

Ayalon told Haaretz on Tuesday that a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which coordinates financial aid for Palestinians, ended abruptly due to a disagreement between Fayyad and Ayalon on the terms of a two-state solution.

"We did not reach an agreement because the Palestinians did not agree to the terms of a two-state solution," Ayalon told Haaretz. The deputy foreign minister also canceled a scheduled joint press conference with Fayyad after the meeting.

But Ragnhild Imerslund, the spokesman for the Norwegian foreign minister and head of the AHLC, said that, contrary to Ayalon's statement, the meeting ended well, and that Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store "regrets Mr. Ayalon's distortion of facts."

"The meeting did not end abruptly, but was completed as normal and PM Fayaad was not outraged," said Imerslund.

Imerslund added that the committee of donating nations supports the establishment of a Palestinian state and welcomes "the impressive progress and successes of the Palestinian Authority with regards to institution building and economic growth."

In response to the statement from Norway, Ayalon's associates said Wednesday afternoon that "[the Norwegians] can say whatever they like. There has been no joint statement and the joint press conference was cancelled… The facts speak for themselves."


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