Earlier today a pool reporter traveling with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, here in Israel accidentally crunched together editorial language from a colleague with a statement from the Palestinian National Authority, after Obama met in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the Mukata, the president’s compound.
The reporter distrubuted the combined statement which thus transmitted inaccurate information to other members of the press corps, including this one, attributing the thoughts of a reporter to President Abbas. Apologies for passing on this faulty information.
At the meeting, Obama sat to the left of Abbas, Fayyed to Abbas’ right. A small coffee table and Palestinian flag sat between them, photos of the late Yasser Arafat and Abbas hung on the wall. Obama advisers Dennis Ross, Jim Steinberg, Dan Shapiro. Susan Rice, and Dan Kurtzer were also there.
After the meeting, Obama, Abbas, and a phalanx of security guards walked down to the senator’s motorcade.
More information in a bit…