RIYADH (AFP) - A senior Saudi diplomat said Sunday his handshake with Israels deputy foreign minister at a Munich security conference was no step towards recognition of the Jewish state. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the countrys former intelligence chief and ex-ambassador to the US, said his handshake Saturday with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon only came after Ayalon apologised for actions that Turki objected to. This event should not be taken out of context or misunderstood, Turki said in a statement received in Riyadh. My strong objections and condemnations of Israels policies and actions against the Palestinians remain unchanged. It is clear that Israels Arab neighbours want peace, but they cannot be expected to tolerate what amounts to theft, and certainly should not be pressured into rewarding Israel for the return of land that does not belong to it in the first place, Turki said. Until Israel heeds US President Barak Obamas call for the removal of all settlements, the Israelis must be under no illusion that Saudi Arabia will offer what they most desire - regional recognition. Turki, who though currently with no official government title continues to carry out diplomatic work for the Saudi government, said the handshake came after Ayalon publicly reprimanded him for not sitting together on a panel at the annual international security conference in Munich. I objected to sitting on the same panel with him not because he is the deputy minister of foreign affairs of Israel but because of his boorish conduct with the Turkish Ambassador to Israel Ahmet Oguz Celikkol, Turki said. In January Ayalon made a show of publicly humiliating Celikkol to demonstrate displeasure with a Turkish television show critical of Israel. Turki also said he objected to Ayalons allegation that Saudi Arabia has not provided any aid to the Palestinian Authority - when in fact Riyadh has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to the authority. Mr Ayalon then asked me to come up to the podium to shake hands to show that there were no hard feelings, Turki said. I pointed to him that he should step down from the podium, Turki said. When we stood face-to-face, he said that he apologised for what he had said and I replied that I accept his apology not only to me but also to the Turkish ambassador.