Israeli, Palestinian PMs to meet next week - spokesman

Israeli, Palestinian PMs to meet next week - spokesman

PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet his Palestinian counterpart Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem next week, a spokesman from the Israeli leader's office said, according to AFP.

A Palestinian official had on Tuesday, April 10 said the two men would meet on April 17, and on Wednesday, Netanyahu's spokesman Ofir Gendelman confirmed the date. "The meeting will take place in Jerusalem, probably at the prime minister's office," he told AFP.

Officials on both sides had previously confirmed the two were to meet in the coming weeks but had not named a date or a venue.

Fayyad is expected to use the rare meeting to personally deliver a letter from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in which he lays out his conditions for returning to direct negotiations that have been on hold since late September 2010.

The Palestinian premier will be accompanied by negotiator Saeb Erakat and Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Over the past few months, Abbas has said he was putting together a letter to Netanyahu which would lay out the Palestinian conditions for resuming negotiations, including a halt to Israeli settlement construction and clear parameters for discussions of future borders.

Netanyahu's office has said that he will respond with his own letter to Abbas, which is likely to call for a resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since September 2010 due to a thorny dispute over Jewish settlement building.

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