Sunday, August 1, 2010

Abbas wants a trilateral meeting between aides before direct talks

Palestinians want the trilateral meeting to show the U.S. administration they are making progress toward holding direct talks with Israel.

By Barak Ravid
Mon, August 02, 2010 Av 22, 5770

The Obama administration is attempting to win Israel's agreement to a Palestinian effort to hold a trilateral meeting next week to set the terms of reference, agenda and timetable for direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians also want to discuss the future of Israel's freeze on settlement construction, which is scheduled to expire on September 26.

If Israel agrees to the meeting, it will be the first significant direct talks with the Palestinian Authority since Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister last year.

"The talks might start in mid-August," Netanyahu told his Likud ministers on Sunday. "It's not assured yet, and it will become clear in the next few days."

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