Olmert, Abbas to meet again after seven weeks

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meet on Monday for the first time in six weeks.

Olmert, Abbas to meet again after seven weeks
Abbas, who suspended his bi-weekly meetings with Olmert at the beginning of March after an Israeli military operation in Gaza killed more than 130 people, said on Sunday that he would not accept a peace deal at any price.

"We are negotiating seriously and we are striving to arrive at a solution for all the final-status issues, but it will not come at any price," Abbas told a meeting of local officials in the West Bank political capital of Ramallah.

The talks were given new impetus after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during a visit to the region last week, managed to secure an Israeli "commitment" to ease roadblocks on West Bank Palestinians and convince Abbas to resume his meetings with Olmert.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Abbas and Olmert would discuss a mutual ceasefire, lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and the implementation of the 2003 Middle East roadmap agreement.

The international roadmap peace blueprint urges Israel to freeze Jewish settlement expansions and calls on the Palestinians to improve security in their territories.

Israel has "not implemented a single one of its obligations as specified in the roadmap. It has not halted the (growth of) settlements or freed prisoners or removed checkpoints," negotiator Erakat said.

The two leaders are expected to discuss several of the core issues at the heart of the conflict.

Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2008, 15:26
Add Comment